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Debbie Hadley

Friday Fact - Polyphemus Moth Caterpillars

By November 23, 2012

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The polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus, overwinters in the pupal stage, tucked away in its cocoon under the leaf litter. Most polyphemus moth caterpillars will make the long trek on foot, crawling down from their host tree and under the forest duff layer before pupating. Some caterpillars save themselves the effort by simply spinning a cocoon in a leaf of the host tree. When the tree finally drops its leaves in autumn, the cocoon drifts gently to the ground on its leaf parachute.

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