We had some pretty interesting moths at our old house. I was lucky enough to spot this Polyphemus moth hanging out around my spider lilies. At first, I thought it was a brown leaf fluttering in the wind. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a huge, beautiful moth. This is one of the largest moths in the moth world, with its wingspan measuring at 5 1/2 inches. The name, Polyphemus, is Greek in origin. The notable eye spots is where the name comes from, the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus. Those distinctive eye spots are key to this insects defense mechanisms. They serve to resemble a predator's own predators. Imagine a bird swooping down to catch this moth, only to see a face of a large owl...Yikes!! Can you see the "owl's face" in the picture below?
|Owl's Face on Polyphemus moth|
The markings on the wings are gorgeous. The wings are tinged in a light, iridescent pink color, which almost resembles women's eye shadow. The eye spots have deep black, shimmering blue and canary yellow coloring. I only spotted this moth twice in my former yard. I only hope that in my new backyard there are many more moth adventures ahead.