There's always something interesting to see at my friend's house! One week it was a show bird, a dove. Another it was a long horned steer. This week she spotted a mammoth moth. Pretty isn't it!
Polyphemus moths leave their cocoons in the afternoon in early May. Neither the male or female adult moths eat; in fact, they don't even have mouthparts! As soon as she has fully emerged and rested (later that night), the female begins releasing a type of scent calle "pheremones." Male moths detect the scent from far away and come to mate with her.
it is part of the giant Silk Moth family. Species detail--
Adults emerge from their cocoons in the late afternoon, and mating occurs the same day from late evening to early morning. Females lay eggs that evening, singly or in groups of 2 or 3 on leaves of the host plant. Newly-hatched caterpillars eat their eggshells, and caterpillars of all ages are solitary. Older caterpillars eat an entire leaf and then cut the leaf petiole at the base so it falls to the ground, perhaps a defensive measure to eliminate signs of feeding.
NatureServe Global Status
G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery. See attached range picture.
One brood in the north from May-July, two broods in the Ohio Valley and southward from April-May and from July-August, two broods in the California Sierra Nevada, several broods throughout most of the year in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana.
3 15/16 - 5 7/8 inches (10 - 15 cm).
Caterpillar hosts: A wide variety of trees and shrubs including oak (Quercus), willow (Salix), maple (Acer), and birch (Betula) Adult food: Adults do not feed.
sources here and here. Photo credit Elizabeth Prata