The adults are strongly attracted to light - particularly UV wavelengths. Male and female polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer) antennae. Volume 11: 1-477. Foodplants and cocoon construction in. Older instars eat whole leaves and then sever the petioles to drop them to the ground (Tuskes et al. Introduction and Catalog. Collins Radio Company. Older instars are yellow-green, and the setae become relatively less prominent with each molt. Vol. Figure 9. Peduncle may be weak allowing cocoon to fall to ground during winter or strong so that cocoon remains on tree all winter. 3) Attached among leaves on trees but with no peduncle so that most fall to ground during winter. Two broods generally hatch each year throughout the United States, one in early spring and one in late summer. Gainesville, Florida 410 pp. Worth CB. However, due to staggered emergence, adults may be found during every month of the year in Florida (Heppner 2003). Cremaster on posterior end of pupa of polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer). 2) Attached apically by a silk peduncle (occasionally by a double peduncle) to a twig. Both induction and termination of diapause also may be influenced by temperature (Mansingh and Smallman 1971). On the upper surface, there are pink-edged white ante-medial and post-medial lines on the forewing and a pinkish white-edged, black post-medial line on the hind wing. Fifth instar male larvae can be differentiated from female larvae by the presence of a black pit on the ventral aspect of the ninth abdominal segment of males that is lacking in females (Miller and Machotka 1980). The dark area of the anal plate extends as a line part way across abdominal segment nine. Townes HK. These then hatch into larvae that consume the insides of the caterpillars. , First-instar caterpillar reared on post oak. 1996. Special Publication Number 12. There is considerable variation in color of the wings even in specimens from the same locality (Holland 1968). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For a historical account of the polyphemus moth’s taxonomy see Ferguson (1972) or Tuskes et al. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 61-63. An elegant harness for tethering large moths. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. Figure 2. Polyphemus caterpillars are never sufficiently common to cause significant damage to their host trees except occasionally in California where they may be pests of commercial plums (Tuskes et al. 1944. The pupa is obtect (wings and appendages are appressed to the body). 1996). The Great Lakes Entomologist 15(2): 145. Ottawa, Canada. The sex pheromone has been characterized as a 90:10 mixture, respectively, of trans-6,cis-11-hexadecadienyl acetate and trans-6,cis-11-hexadecadienal (Kochansky et al. In captivity, this moth is much more difficult to breed than other American saturniids such as Hyalophora cecropia, Callosamia promethea, or Actias luna. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. Waldbauer GP, Sternburg JG, George WG, Scarbrough AG. The pupa is anchored to a loosely spun pad of silk at the rear of the cocoon by a cremaster (spines at the tip of the abdomen) that facilitates emergence of the adult from the pupal exoskeleton. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. 1967. Unlike the other large silk moths, the polyphemus and luna moths lack an escape “valve” in the cocoon to aid their emergence. Associated Publishers. Hairy and downy woodpecker attacks on cocoons of urban. Science 146: 538-540. Cocoon of polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer) with exit hole made by an ichneumon wasp parasitoid. 1979, Peck 1963), one species of braconid wasp (Krombein et al. The adult moth escapes the pupal case by splitting it at the anterior end and pushing the top up. Covell CV. 232 pp. As the caterpillars age, they molt five times (the fifth being into a pupa). The species was first described by Pieter Cramer in 1776. Because the name Antheraea has been used more often in the literature, Ferguson (1972) recommended using that name rather than Telea to avoid confusion. 1979), five species of ichneumonid wasps (Krombein et al. There has been some concern that light pollution from man-made sources (particularly mercury vapor street lights) may deter silk moths from mating and have a negative impact on their populations in urban areas (Worth and Muller 1979). 1961.Wild Silk Moths of the United States: Saturniinae. (Distributed by Entomological Reprint Specialists. Frass (fecal pellets) of larva of polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer). Most startle patterns are brightly colored areas on the outer body of already camouflaged animals. 1987). Young AM. The material presented across this site is for entertainment value and should not be construced as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...) Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Villiard P. 1975. Maximum reported dimensions in millimeters are 2.4 × 2 × 1.52 (length × width × height) (Peterson 1965). Fortunately, mercury vapor lamps are not used as commonly as they once were for street lights. Dover Publications, Inc. New York. A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. There is considerable variation in color of the wings even in specimens from the same locality (Holland 1968). 496 pp. The ground color varies greatly; some specimens are brown or tan, others are bright reddish brown. 138 pp. Pupal escape mechanism of certain saturniid moths. While males are attracted all night long, maximal attractiveness is during the last two hours before sunrise (Kochansky et al. Princeton University Press. Sex-related morphological characters in larvae of. The large hind wing eyespots are ringed with prominent yellow, white (partial) and black rings. 1980. The Wild Silk Moths of North America: The Natural History of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada. 1973. He gave the following lengths for the five instars: 1st instar: 5 to 6 mm, 2nd instar: 14 to 15 mm, 3rd instar: 20 to 25 mm, 4th instar: 40 to 45 mm, 5th instar: 60 mm. Virginia Museum of Natural History. The females emit pheromones, which the male can detect through his large, plumose (feathery) antennae. 1996) and will feed on a wide variety of species in captivity. 2012 ). The Polyphemus Moth is typically 2.9 inches to 3.7 inches (75mm to 95mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: furry; tan; brown; black; pink; yellow; purple; blue; hairy; flying; striped; spots. When threatened, adult polyphemus flip the front wings forward and also often flap the wings exposing the large hind wing eyespots -- possibly to startle potential predators. 1972. Mechanism of activation of prococoonase from. 1979.Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. Down East Books. Color patterns can range from a reddish cinnamon to a dark brown, but are almost always a shade of brown. Males have smaller bodies than females, and their plumelike antennae are larger than those of females. 1978. A surprising amount of variation occurs within this species. After the moths mate, the female spends the majority of the remainder of her life laying eggs, while the male may mate several more times. 2003. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Antheraea polyphemus, the Polyphemus moth, is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. Lepidoptera (Moths, Butterflies). Insects Through the Seasons. The polyphemus moth also has been known by the genus name Telea but it and the Old World species in the genus Antheraea are not considered to be sufficiently different to warrant different generic names. Adults:The adult wingspan is 10 to 15 cm (approximately 4 to 6 inches) (Covell 2005). Males have very bushy antennae while females have moderately less bushy antennae. Canadian Entomologist. Caterpillars exposed to short photoperiods (8-12 hours) produce diapausing (overwintering) pupae while those exposed to long photoperiods ( >17 hours) produce non-diapausing pupae (Mansingh and Smallman 1967). Division of Plant Industry. 1979, Townes 1944), and one species of proctotrupoid wasp (Collins and Weast 1961). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 2735 pp. Part 1. 242 pp. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. Antheraea polyphemus, the Polyphemus moth, is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. Hilton HO. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. The resultant hybrids were displayed in his winning U.S. National Science Fair exhibit "Intergeneric hybridization among giant silk moths". The undersides of the wings have areas with pinkish-white and others with various shades of brown. Caterpillars of Eastern North America. In captivity, they will lay their eggs on any substrate. Polyphemus caterpillars are polyphagous and have been reported in nature from over 50 species of broad-leaved plants (Ferguson 1972, Heppner 2003, Tietz 1972, Tuskes et al. The cocoon contained a hollow pupal exoskeleton with a hole of identical size, shape, and location as that in the cocoon. Some eggs of moths among the Sphingidae, Saturniidae, and Citheroniidae (Lepidoptera). Once the caterpillars pupate, the larvae themselves pupate, killing the Polyphemus pupa. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society. The most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings. This involves the large eyespots on its hindwings, which give the moth its name (from the cyclops Polyphemus in Greek mythology). The Allyn Museum of Entomology. Figure 14. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. Pruning of trees and leaving outdoor lights on at night can also be detrimental to the moths. The pattern on the hindwings of the Polyphemus moth resembles that on the head of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus). Cocoon of polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer) with 2.0 mm diameter hole in top. Kafatos FC, Williams CM. They are found from southern Canada down into Mexico and in all of the lower 48 states except for Arizona and Nevada (Tuskes et al. Washington, D.C. Brown SG, Boettner GH, Yack JE. Figure 6. Peterson A. Harvard University Press. Because of this, they do not eat and only live as adults for less than one week. Attachment by a peduncle may be more common in the South (Wagner 2005). 1965. A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American Tachinidae (Diptera).United States Department of Agriculture Miscellaneous Publication 1319. Note the comb-like feathery antennae of the male, which are nearly double the size of the female. 2012 ). They then spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in leaves of the host plant. Mansingh A, Smallman BN. Holland WJ. Princeton, New Jersey. Male and female pupae of polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer). 1971. The upper surface of the wings is various shades of reddish brown, gray, light brown or yellow-brown with transparent eyespots. Wagner DL. Figure 5. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. The cocoonase is produced and released from the highly modified maxillary galeae (the structures that form the tongue or proboscis of moths and butterflies that feed as adults). Mansingh A, Smallman BN. Females release a sex-attractant pheromone and may attract males from a distance beginning late evening of the day of emergence. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida. Polyphemus moths are our most widely distributed large silk moths. The Compsilura concinnata tachinid fly, introduced to North America to control gypsy moth, is one particular known threat to the North American native Polyphemus moth.. Both genus names were published in the same year. They feed heavily on their host plant and can grow up to 3–4 in long. They have yellow mid-segmental lines that run from the sub-dorsal scoli (setae-bearing, wart-like bumps) touching the spiracles and to the lateral scoli on abdominal segments 2 to 7. (Another example of the use of startle patterns is the gray tree frog, with its bright-yellow leggings. Cocoonases of silkworm moths: catalytic properties and biological function. The family name Saturniidae is based on the eyespots of some members of the family that contain concentric rings reminiscent of the planet Saturn (Powell 2003).