Polyphemus, a gemlike oil painting of a Polyphemus Moth

$200.00

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Description

This oil painting is 5×7 inches, and it is sold with a nice show-quality frame.


More Information about the Polyphemus Moth

The polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths.[1] It is a tan-colored moth, with an average wingspan of 15 cm (6 in). The most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hind wings. The eye spots give it its name – from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus. The species is widespread in continental North America, with local populations found throughout subarctic Canada and the United States. The caterpillar can eat 86,000 times its weight at emergence in a little less than two months.

The polyphemus moth uses defence mechanisms to protect itself from predators. One of its most distinctive mechanisms is a distraction display that serves to confuse, or simply distract, predators. This involves the large eyespots on its hind wings, which give the moth its name (from the Cyclops Polyphemus in Greek mythology). Eyespots are also startle patterns, a subform of distraction patterns, used for camouflage via deceptive and blending coloration. Most startle patterns are brightly colored areas on the outer body of already camouflaged animals.Distraction patterns are believed to be a form of mimicry, meant to misdirect predators by markings on the moths’ wings. The pattern on the hind wings of the polyphemus moth resembles that on the head of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).

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