Wednesday 25 August 2021

Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar

    This amazing looking creature was crawling on our back deck yesterday.  It was certainly photo-worthy so I took this picture (with my iPhone).  I didn’t know what it was, but I have the iNaturalist app on my phone, which sends the photo to experts who might know and they reply back with an identification.  The app also helps scientists learn about the distribution of various plants and animals.

    In this case it was identified as a Polyphemus Moth.  The Polyphemus Moth is a member of the Giant Silk Moth Family which can have a wing-span of 15cm (6 inches) (Yikes!).  The caterpillars are hungry critters that can eat 86,000 times their weight.  This one was sure roly-poly.  I put it down in the grass after I took the photo, figuring it had a better chance of survival off of our deck and the next time I looked it had gone.

    It’s pretty amazing what things are out there that you usually don’t know anything about.

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