Not dog related but had to share…

I apologize in advance for the totally off-topic post but I am still really moved and excited by an even that happened at the end of last week.

So, I was surprised by an amazing guest on my front porch.  I let the dogs out in the morning and followed them out the door.  I turned around to come back inside and I screamed as I saw the biggest moth I’d seen in my entire life.  On the ground right in front of the door (I have no idea how I hadn’t seen it when I walked out).  I’m pretty phobic when it comes to insects and spiders… moths/butterflies are on the low end of the fear factor but size certainly effects how uncomfortable I am around the insect.

This moth had a wing span of 6 inches (a hair over this)… I kid you not, this moth was HUGE!   He had these four beautiful faux eyes as a defense mechanism and these amazingly fluffy antennae.  I took a bunch of quick snap shots (I was unsure if the moth would fly away) and found out (through an amateur entomologist friend) that this was a polyphemus moth.  It’s not super rare but also not terribly common.  Working through my fear I just marveled at this really beautiful creature–it both terrified me and fascinated me.

I feel really fortunate to have seen this amazing creature… he really was just absolutely gorgeous.  His stunning markings and colorings made me brave and helped me get past my fear with him.  These are not stellar photos but I hope you enjoy this amazing creature’s beauty as much as I did!!

These guys have an incredibly short life span and this guy was, unfortunately, nearing the end of his time on this earth. As such, he was lethargic and allowed me to move this measuring board next to him easily.

The eyes are just amazing! I am also a huge fan of the red highlighting on the wings... oh and the bushy antennae!!

I must say the eyes are just amazing! I LOVE that they have so much detail, even so mcuh as having bright blue eye shadow!

I startled him enough accidentally at some point that he unsteadily flew away.  He landed in the neighbor’s shrubbery, which I suspect is a nicer place to spend his last little while on earth.  I really did feel so lucky to have seen such an amazing creature… it was really quite amazing and terrifying event (though, as I became wrapped up in his beauty, he became much less scary!)!

  1. That is a polyphemus. They are related to Luna moths, which are also giants and more common in the area. They have just a couple cycles each year, and because they have no mouthparts as adult moths, only live a week. You are lucky to have seen one. This was probably a male, given the full antennae and the fact that it was out and about.

    There are lots of Saturnids (a family of giant moths) but I have only ever seen polyphemus and Luna moths around here. Good find, lovely pics!

    • (oh, just saw that someone already told you all that but I get excited. :p)

    • Yep! He was really amazing! I’ve lived in this area for most of my life and this is the first scary moth-of-doom i’ve ever seen… i do feel so lucky to have seen him. He was really so amazing (still a little scary though LOL).

  2. The colors are amazing.

  3. Sometimes it is nice to have something change your focus in life, even if just for a moment. What a beautiful sight to see.

  4. I’ve never seen one of these before – beautiful!

  5. Wow, those ‘eyes’ are amazing!!!

    • For serious… i googled more of his species and i think this one has some of the nicest markings out there! 🙂

  6. lucky you! I haven’t seen of these yet.

    • I definitely consider myself very lucky… they may not be ultra rare but i’ve gone 26 years without ever seeing one so it was pretty nice!

  7. So creepy… Most insects don’t bother me at all. I like spiders and beetles and even find cockroaches a little fascinating. But moths? *shudder* While I share in your excitement at discovering something so rare and so large, I don’t think I’ll be looking at that photo again…

    • HAHA we are clearly opposites…. spiders are WAY terrifying… insects are slightly less terrifying but STILL scary … moths and butterflies… not nearly as scary

  8. Great shots. When I lived in PA, I used to see the Green Luna moths….I remember the shock I felt the first time I saw one of those too! They are HUGE!

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