There is more to moths than meets the eye

Learn about local nature at pair of presentations in Scandia.




2 minute read

Odysseus and Polyphemus, Arnold Böcklin, 1896

The Polyphemus moth is big and beautiful. With a wingspan of six inches, its rear wings feature large colorful spots which look like eyes. The decoration confuses predators, who strike at the fake eyes and miss the moth’s body.

This member of the giant silk moth family is named for the Greek myth of Polyphemus, a cyclops who captured Odysseus on his return voyage from Troy, according to Homer. The name means “abounding in songs and legends.”

Polyphemus moths are common in Minnesota and across North America, a marvel of nature that lives all around us.

Learn about the Polyphemus moth’s “songs and legends” at an event next Thursday in Scandia.

A following event will give an overview of how birds are doing in the state. These charismatic creatures can tell us a lot about the health of the environment. For example, the Eastern meadowlark, once commonly seen and heard in farm fields, pastures, and prairies, is experiencing a “precipitous” population decline across North America.

There just aren’t as many of the open country with year-round vegetation that the birds need. They are the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ list of Species in Greatest Conservation Need, and have been added to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service list of concern.

Via the Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails:

Prairie Restorations
21120 Ozark Court, Scandia, MN (map)
$5 suggested donation

Nocturnal Gentle Giants: An Introduction to the Largest Silk Moths of Minnesota

Thursday May 23 6:30

Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) (Photo by Joe Walewski, Lake County, Minn., via iNaturalist)

Join ecologist and nature enthusiast Erik Mottl for an introduction to Minnesota’s giant silkworm moths. The natural history, conservation, and tales of very hungry caterpillars. Find out about the important role moths play in local ecosystems and the amazing diversity often hiding in plain sight.

Birds of the State, State of the Birds

Thursday, June 13, 6:30

Eastern meadowlark (Photo by Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360, at , Belwin Conservancy, Afton, Minn.)

How are Minnesota’s bird populations doing? Which species are increasing, which are declining, and why? Join University of Minnesota ornithologist and population ecologist, Todd Arnold, to learn about the factors affecting regional bird populations and what we can do to help.


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One response to “There is more to moths than meets the eye”

  1. LisaSchlingerman Avatar

    Thanks you Greg for your support of the St Croix Mother Nature and Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails


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There is more to moths than meets the eye