Help ID this visitor

mbug_gwJuly 29, 2014

This guy's been hanging around my deck all day....not doing much fluttering...large and pretty.
Can anyone ID?

....about 5-6 inches tip to tip

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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

Wow, it's beautiful!!! Can't ID it for you though, sorry.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:44PM
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Wow, no idea, but very cool!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:50PM
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A polyphemus moth (antheraea polyphemus) according to my research. Range is North America - member of the family Saturniidae.


This post was edited by DelawareDonna on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 20:04

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:52PM
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Thanks nailed it...It's still hangin out

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:11PM
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The colors and velvety texture are so beautiful....makes me feel bad for hating caterpillars and cutworms now!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:26PM
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I know. I am very careful about putting out anything at all, have endured the leaf cuts this year because I want some pollination going on at night. A lot of the moths are nocturnal it seems. And I'm not well informed about what worms/caterpillars become nocturnal moths.

Which reminds me. I must go back out and see if I can catch Mama plantaginea opening her flowers. She skipped last night. I guess a flower as big as hers takes a lot of preparation.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:17PM
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It just kills me, Mocc, because those caterpillars and cutworms can do major damage in a night or two. Ugh!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:40PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

What a magnificent moth!! Thanks for posting a pic of it - truly beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:53PM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

OMG so beautiful yet so ugly!!! Its legs remind me of a tarantula!! Uggghhhh..........I would not kill it not to worry. At our family reunion a couple weekends ago we have a huge tent where we sit, have the food set up etc. There would be moths in there trying to get them out and I was the one catching them and releasing them. I don't know if I did damage to one of them though because there was powder in my hand. This one that I saved with the power was a big one for me. NOT like this guy but a good two inches and flutter like crazy, but I didn't want the young teenage young adult males to kill it. When its wings started going, it sat on my hand for awhile, its wings sounded like little motors before it took off. I felt relieved it flew away!!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:00AM
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hostatakeover swMO(6a)

Great pics, mbug. We have at least one of these show up every year, and I've been looking for this year's Polyphemus. Lots of Lunas, too.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:18AM
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chris-e(7 MD)

I know nothing about moths except they try to get into the light each time I let my dog out at night. That Luna is beautiful, as is the hosta, please tell me that they don't turn into anything that eats plants! I am having enough trouble with the bunnies in the back yard this year. They live under our shed. I used to say "he" but he is now officially "they". Drive the dog crazy!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:13PM
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Thistle and Maize(Zone 5a- Eastern IA)

Aren't some moths just gorgeous? I think they get outshone by the butterflies sometimes but they can be just beautiful. I usually just see hummingbird moths around my hostas right now - such odd little creatures but fun to watch zipping around.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:08PM
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dhaven(z5 IA)

Polyphemus and Luna moth caterpillars eat the leaves of a wide variety of trees, but do not cause any significant damage. The adult moths have only vestigial mouth parts, so do not eat anything, although I believe they can consume liquids. But neither caterpillar or adult moth will harm garden plants. So enjoy, especially the Luna moth, which is now considered to be a threatened species due to habitat loss.

I am fortunate to have Luna, Polyphemus, and Cecropia moths on my property, and this is an excellent year for them, I've seen 5 different Luna moths in the last 2 weeks, and several Polyphemus. Some years I'm lucky to see one or two for the entire summer.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:50PM
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Geesh! Zone 5 even has the best insects. lol


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Gorgeous! I had an orange moth on my car the other day. Seems like from this website they're pretty common here, but first time I've ever seen one.

Here is a link that might be useful: orange-tipped oakworm moth Anisota senatoria

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Great pics. I do see the hummingbird-like moths out here pretty often; very interesting. I'm noticing more Sphinx moths than usual, too. Very pretty insects, in my opinion.

Don B.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:34PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Wow, just gorgeous! I surprised a Luna moth a couple of days ago in my hostas. She was just huge! First one I've ever seen, she was amazing and rose up over the house and disappeared. Wish I could have gotten a pic, but didn't even know she was down there in and amongst the hostas.

We usually have a lot of hummingbird moths, but I haven't seen any this year. Lots of regular hummingbirds, though :) and more bees than usual.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:19PM
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