Empty Polyphemus Moth Cocoon

By | February 19, 2020

This photo is of a Polyphemus Moth Cocoon that I found on the forest floor while hiking. I see these often here in the Ouachita National Forest of Arkansas. I didn’t know what these were until I posted a photo of one on Facebook. Thanks to Bill Yox for educating me on what type of Moth creates these cocoons.

Polyphemus Moth Cocoon
Polyphemus Moth Cocoon

Polyphemus Moth 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 five times (the fifth being into a pupa).

They feed heavily on their host plant and can grow up to 3 to 4 inches long. They then spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in leaves of the host plant. (Wikipedia)

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based Wildlife Photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma.