Terrifying image of a ‘winged tarantula’ freaks out social media – can you guess what it really is?

4 weeks ago 5

A TERRIFYING picture of an insect resembling a huge winged tarantula has been scaring people on social media.

But can you tell what the creature really is?

The image appears to show a tarantula with huge wings


The image appears to show a tarantula with huge wingsCredit: Newsflash

The picture shows what looks like a large spider with massive wings and two long feelers sat on a red brick wall.

It was posted to Facebook page @stamamalon, a blog with over 2.8million followers, last week.

A caption read: "Antheraea Polyphemus, basically a tarantula with wings."

The post gained over 58,000 shares and 22,000 comments from users, many of them reacting with disbelief.

"It was enough that cockroaches flew," wrote one.

"Now I get this?!"

"2020 can't surprise us any more," said another.

A third wrote: "The time has come to look for another planet."

But despite its appearance in the image, the Antheraea Polyphemus is not a tarantula or a spider of any kind.

It is actually a type of giant silk moth native to North America, with local populations found throughout central Canada and the United States.

It is tan-coloured and has a typical wingspan of around six inches.

Its most distinctive feature is the large purplish eyespots on each of its rear wings, one of which is visible in the Facebook picture.

The spot gives the species the name Polyphemus, which is also the name of a cyclops from Greek mythology.


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The moths are entirely harmless to humans.

It's not known where exactly in North America the photo was taken.

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