CECROPIA, POLYPHEMUS MOTH, and tulip-tree silkmoth

Cecropia Moth. These huge insects are our largest resident moth species. They can have up to a 6-inch wingspan, and this individual was pretty close to that size. Cecropia Moths fly primarily in June (also early July). They do not feed as adults, and they live for only about a week once they emerge from their cocoons.

Polyphemus Moth. This is another giant silkworm moth. It has four clear eyespots, one on each wing. These moths can be almost as large as Cecropia moths. 

This is the same Polyphemus Moth as above, with its wings closed. Photographed at the Cox Arboretum butterfly house.

From what I have read, Cecropia Moths are not as strongly attracted to lights as many other giant silkworm moths. However, this particular individual certainly seemed fascinated by my UV light. (All three Cecropia photos on this page show the same individual, found June 20, 2016.)

This photo was taken while the Cecropia Moth was perched on my shoulder, peering inquisitively at the camera. This moth flew away not long after this photo was taken. It was breathtaking to watch such a large moth soar into the trees.

The individual at left and below is a captive Polyphemus Moth at the Cox Arboretum butterfly house. Almost all of the photos on my website show wild insects, but I really like these two images. They show what a Polyphemus Moth looks like while it is resting in a tree during the day. 

I found this Polyphemus Moth outside a store in Beavercreek. He was hanging on an outdoor light fixture, where I assume he had remained since the night before. Always check outdoor lights when heading into a restaurant, store, or gas station. You never know what you might find! 

This is a Tulip-tree Silkmoth. I found this beauty at my moth lights on June 11, 2020. Note that there is a very similar species, the Promethea Moth (not shown). Tulip-tree Silkmoths are the larger of the two species. Females like this individual are orange. A female Promethea Moth would be more reddish. Males of both species are darker in color. 

Another Tulip-tree Silkmoth, photographed June 3, 2022. This individual had damaged wings, possibly from a bird attack. 

Polyphemus Moths fly from April through August. They come to lights, but I have only seen them on a few occasions.