Polyphemus Moth Information and Photos

Category Wildlife
This large moth is found throughout the United States, southern Canada, and down into Mexico. This is a page about polyphemus moth information and photos.


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Are the polyphemus moths dangerous? Do they bite or sting? Can I touch it or pick it up?


July 11, 20180 found this helpful

They are not dangerous. Some people keep them as pets. You can read about them here. www.animalspot.net/polyphemus-moth-antheraea-polyphemus...

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July 12, 20180 found this helpful

For most people they are fine to handle, not dangerous or poisonous.

Although for two reasons, I am of the mind to just let them be and not interfere with them:


The first reason is I wouldn't handle them or their pre-stage incarnations as caterpillars only because when I was a kid, I used to play with these and other caterpillars and I always seemed to get a rash. That said, they never affected my friends, so I must be overly sensitive.

The second reason is I am strongly apposed to doing anything that could cause them or their eco system any harm (I think I feel guilty I probably "played" with them a little too hard when I was a kid and accidentally killed a few by mistake.)

They are just out there trying to live in their weird and beautiful caterpillar to cocoon to moth world...so just watch...don't touch is my motto. But those who know me, know I am just a tad wonky about stuff like this :)

There is another interesting site about them:


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July 12, 20180 found this helpful

Totally harmless to humans.

Some people can keep moths as pets too.


But I am not a fan of moths as they can feed on fabric/clothing or pantry items - best to keep outdoors or play with outdoors only.

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July 12, 20180 found this helpful

They are not in the least bit dangerous. BUT it is advised to not handle them, the wing are very fragile and soft.

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August 23, 20180 found this helpful

oh no they are sweethearts and beautiful!

is my first reaction

but i look it up to make sure and: www.whatsthatbug.com/.../

here they answer questions about this moth and their view is they are neither poisonous nor harmful nor do they bite - in fact apparently the adult moth does not eat at all (!!!) it is only the caterpillar that eats voraciously


the caterpillars are probably harmful to gardens because they eat a huge quantity of vegetable matter " oak, hickory, elm, maple and birch; caterpillars will also eat apple, beech, ash, willow, linden, rose, grape and pine." eol.org/pages/386283/details

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Photo Description
As I was making beer munchies in my kitchen, I heard a light thumping on the window. Thinking it might be the wind picking up (it was raining) or hail or something, I opened the curtain and saw this gorgeous, huge freaking moth. I looked him (her, actually, I think) up and discovered she was part of the giant silkmoth family called Polyphemus, after the Greek cyclops. Those "eyes" on her wings--the center circle is transparent--like a dragonfly's wings!


I fell in love with this beautiful little creature. Well, little to me. Huge among moths! I was absolutely enchanted.

I'd had a lousy night and this moth, who obliged willingly enough when I offered my hand to crawl on, improved my mood tenfold.

I hope you enjoy this picture which my little friend held so agreeably still for. Oh, and I shut off the florescent light that was attracting her. Littler insects can bounce off the window, no problem, but I didn't want her to get more hurt than she already is. (Her wings, at the bottom.)

Photo Location
Omaha, NE

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June 6, 2017

Photo Description
I was walking down the street this evening and I saw this helpless beautiful moth walking on the ground. So I leaned down and to my surprise it walked right onto my hand, almost as if to say thank you for the lift and it held on the whole way to my apartment, where I could check it out. I saw that it's poor wings were soaked and it couldn't fly. So I let it stay inside till it could fly and let it back out.


Photo Location
Westfield, Massachusetts

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My father was outside gardening when we heard him calling for us to see a huge butterfly. It was not a butterfly, but a really beautiful and humongous silk moth. It had a wingspan of about six inches, beautiful blue eyespots and a chubby belly. I think it's quite cute!

Full view of the moth.

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April 16, 2020

Beautiful female polyphemus moth. 04/13/20

Polyphemus Moth - moth on hand

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