Silk Moths at Fermilab
Three species of Giant
Moths (the moth family Saturniidae) are common at Fermilab and are
below: Polyphemus, Luna, and Cecropia. All three of these
overwinter in the cocoon and do not feed as adults, living only for a
or so as adults in spring or early summer.
|Polyphemus moth (Antheraea
June 18, 2003
This Polyphemus moth was in the IB1 parking lot one morning, probably after having been attracted to lights on the building. I took it to my office where I took this photo. The wing span was about six inches. The caterpillars feed on the sandbar willows in the wet areas here at Fermilab, and on other trees and shrubs.
|Luna Moth (Actias luna)
May 12, 2004
These beautiful members of the Giant Silk Moth family feed as caterpillars on walnut and other trees and overwinter in a cocoon on the ground. Like other giant silk moths, they do not feed as adults and live only about a week or so. They rest during the day, usually well-hidden in the green vegetation, fly at night, and are quite attracted to lights.
|Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora
(photo courtesy of John Konc)
Like the Polyphemus, the large, green caterpillars feed on sandbar willows and other trees and shrubs at Fermilab. The adults are often found at windows or doorways of service buildings in the mornings in May or June after having been attracted to lights at night.
Up to Butterflies of Fermilab