May 16 2011
On Thursday, May 12, the classroom was literally brought inside from the outdoors when a large and beautifully marked moth decided to pay a visit, much to the delight of our students. The moth was lovingly kept on a table to warm in the sunshine and our students were able to closely observe the creature and identify him in an encyclopedia of insects as a Polyphemus moth. From Wikipedia:
The Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. It is a tan colored moth, with an average wingspan of 15 cm (6 inches). The most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings. The eye spots are where it gets its name – from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus. The caterpillar of the Polyphemus Moth can eat 86,000 times its weight at emergence in a little less than two months. It is widespread throughout much of North America, from southern Canada to parts of Mexico.
You see another reason why knowledge of the classics and mythology comes in handy and enhances our understanding and enjoyment of the world!