I took a short walk this afternoon during a break at work, and stumbed across this little guy.
This, my friends, is an Antheraea polyphemus, aka a Polyphemus Moth. It’s a member of the giant silk moth family, and belive it or not, they get even bigger than this. Full-sized adults can have a wingspan of about 6 inches, which make them very good at frightening the hell out of cityfolk.
This particular critter was hanging out on a sidewalk, about 100 feet away from Highway 394. It’s very windy and gusty today, so he was hanging for dear life onto the asphalt. At first I thought he was dead, but when I reached down to gently open his wings, he proved to be most certainly alive. He just couldn’t fly.
Upon closer inspection, his front right wing was torn. Sadly, this means this guy isn’t going to be around much longer, no matter what I did. I didn’t want to see him squashed, though, so I took the liberty of gently picking him up and moving him off the path, giving him a spot near shelter and water.