polyphemus moth

noun

pol·​y·​phe·​mus moth
often capitalized P
: a very large American silkworm moth (Antheraea polyphemus) of a yellowish or brownish color with a large eyelike spot in each hind wing and a larva that is very large and bright green with silvery tubercles and with oblique white stripes on the sides and that feeds on the oak, chestnut, willow, cherry, apple, and other trees

Word History

Etymology

polyphemus from New Latin (specific epithet of Telea polyphemus), from Latin Polyphemus, a Cyclops; from the eyelike spot on its hind wings

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Cite this Entry

“Polyphemus moth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyphemus%20moth. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

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