Featured in Backyard Macro and Closeups – May 8, 2010
Featured in Extreme Close-Ups – Oct 28th, 2009

6056 views as of Dec22, 2013
Canon Eos XT, f/16, 1/80 sec, ISO-200, focal length- 100mm

The Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. It is a tan colored moth, with an average wingspan of 6 inches (15 cm). The most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings. The eye spots are where it gets its name – from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus. The caterpillar of the Polyphemus moth can eat 86,000 times its weight at emergence in a little less than two months. It is widespread throughout much of North America, from southern Canada to parts of Mexico.The life cycle of the moth is much like that of any other saturniidae species. It lays flat, light brown eggs on the leaves of a number of host plants. When the eggs hatch small yellow caterpillars emerge. As the caterpillars age, they molt 5 times (the 5th being into a pupa). Each instar is slightly different, but on their fifth and final instar they become a bright green color with white lines and are marked by gold knobs. They feed heavily on their host plant and can grow up to 3-4 inches long. They then spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in leaves of the host plant.

Photographed in Steep Rock, Manitoba, Canada


macro, head, worm, details, green, silk, insect

I’m married to a wonderful man for over 35 years. I have one daughter and one grandson. I live in Winnipeg, Canada. Photography is my passion as is travelling. I do both whenever I can.

View Full Profile


  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 5 years ago

    fantastic capture and details

  • Up close it’s like a some kind of a monster isn’t it? Thanks Kathy.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 5 years ago

    beautiful macro work hon,,,,,this guy is so neat isn’t he? I love the Polyphemus Moth, hope to get a few shots this year – should be soon too. Your write-up is very interesting.

  • Thank you so much hon. I would love to photograph the moth too. I have so many shots of this larva as I was fascinated by its neon green colour.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • stephaniek
    stephaniekover 5 years ago

    Nice photo capture Teresa!!

  • Thank you Stephanie.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • jesika
    jesikaover 5 years ago

    Great shot & interesting narrative. I look forward to seeing the moth

  • Thanks Jesika. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to get it this summer.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • hatterasjack
    hatterasjackover 5 years ago

    I love the vivid contrast in color.

  • Thank you so much.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • VickiOBrien
    VickiOBrienover 5 years ago

    whooohooo….just mahvellous!!!!!!

  • Thank you Vicki.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Per E. Gunnarsen
    Per E. Gunnarsenover 5 years ago

    Very interesting and cool shot, reminds me about spring and summertime!

  • Many thanks Per, much appreciated.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaover 5 years ago

    Great clarity… so much so that I can only stomach it for about 3 seconds, lol.

  • Me too but it was still interesting to watch it.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • ourjrny
    ourjrnyover 5 years ago

    This is a brilliant macro of an amazing creature!!

  • Thanks my dear. I’ve never seen it before so of course I was fascinated by it.

    – Teresa Zieba

  • Adam Bykowski
    Adam Bykowskiover 5 years ago

    YUK! Sorry, but that is my first reaction. The color in this is great. Sharp image.

  • It doesn’t look very apealing up close and personal but still interesting to find out that something so ugly can turn into a beautiful butterfly. Amazing.

    – Teresa Zieba

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait