I found this moth and I noticed that it looked like an owl to me and remembered something about how some moths camouflages look like predictors? What kind of moth this is and what owl does this moth resemble? Would this moth be a newer species than other moths because it came after the owl? The wing span is 5.5 inches across. The eyes of the wing are transparent allowing light to pass through like reflecting eyes.

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enter image description here North American Great Horned Owl


1 Answer 1


First of all what a nice foto!

I think this is Antheraea polyphemus. According to Wikipedia, the moth has an average of 15 cm (6 in).

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The purplish eyespots on hind wings give its name - from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus.

And about the defence strategy it's quite interesting. As a green caterpillar, it is camouflaged by its color. However, if it's noticed then it starts to do pose like Sfinx to look less like a caterpillar, if it's still attacked by threat then it is started to make a clicking noise with its mandibles - sometimes as a prelude to or accompanied by defensive regurgitation of distasteful fluids.

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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. The eyespots are possibly to protect an adult from Blue Jay.

The pattern on the hind wings of the polyphemus moth resembles that on the head of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).

  • $\begingroup$ I hope it is enough. I add that owl too. $\endgroup$
    – L.Diago
    Aug 10, 2018 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ I like it.....+`1 $\endgroup$
    – Muze
    Aug 10, 2018 at 20:50

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