Rhodinia verecuna eggs overwintering

  • I currently have rhodinia Verecuna eggs overwintering in my fridge for a couple of weeks and was wondering what is the best length of time for their overwintering. I have the food plants available but don't want to take them out early.

    Thank you

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  • I've always had mixed results with overwintering ova, coincidentally, I've got some verecuna ova I purchased and have been

    keeping them in an unheated outbuilding, I'm under the impression the ova were laid last fall, and have undergone

    whatever diapuase overwintering ova go through- if any. I've got willow just leafing out and expect to be using that.

    You didn't mention when the ova were laid, that might make a difference in when the eggs can be set out.

  • I don't know when they were laid, I figured the seller was selling them as recently laid. I have sent a message to him to find out. the only information I have found is that they have to go through diapause but length is never reported.

  • My seller gave me the impression the eggs could be set for hatching once there were leaves available. The advice

    was to " keep them cool, possibly on a north side of your house". I never asked for any other information, as food plant

    information is readily available, and doesn't always apply to every situation anyway.

    I did mention my mixed successes with using the refrigerator for overwintering ova, the advice was to- keep them outdoors,

    not always possible or practical though.

  • One has hatched on April 1, I have been keeping them in my unheated sunporch, and bringing them indoors

    to an unheated room since March 14th, I live on the coast in Oregon, so our nights are usually mild for winter, lows

    in the high 40's or low 50's, once the porch would get into the 60's I'd bring them indoors to an

    unheated room. I was hoping they'd stay unhatched a little longer, my Salix babylonica is just leafing out, the larva may be eating it, it's hard to tell right now. I've got it indoors in my usual method of starting larva, a cut twig in water in a plastic container,

    too cold still for outdoors I think, and I'll be able to see any frass easily.

    But- it's just one larva for now, and I suppose tomorrow or the next day more may hatch, I've got a total of 20 or so, I hope it

    takes the willow, there's no chance of any of my other choices getting leaves anytime soon.

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  • more hatchings today, and, as happens as often as not, I had to get them to a foodplant choice in the morning

    and leave for the remainder of the day, so I couldn't play with them, tomorrow will be more productive, and maybe

    I'll get some definitive signs of feeding. At least they are hatching and the overwintering was successful.

  • The first was a single, then yesterday and today they hatched sporadically throughout the day, I'd probably call them

    small batches at this point, it'll be 8 at a time, then 6, then 3, like that, pretty normal for Saturniidae, how many you

    get at a time just depends on how many ova you've got. I expect a few more tomorrow probably, and that'll be that,

    then I have 3 days to get them to eat. If you're not aware, sometimes misting the leaves can stimulate a response,

    and they'll also stay hydrated.

    Sweetgum,,, I wish mine was leafed out, it'll be another 6 weeks or more, one of my last to get leaves, I do have

    an evergreen oak though, it's too small to carry larva, but if I have trouble getting mine to accept the willow, ceanothus

    and deciduous privet I'm trying now. Mine are settled in on the offerings, but no signs of feeding yet.

    Exotics. Always substitute food plants.

  • When there are doubts about the food plant, it does get difficult. A person could separate 2 or 3 larva on different

    offerings, or, my current approach- throw everything in a box and see what happens. Anything with leaves is

    potential fodder, and it can make a breeder an unpleasant person to be around at these times. "How are your caterpillars

    doing?' What- did you say something? I must have missed it. I have some hope, a few of the larva are clearly larger and

    there seems to be some frass, where it came from, I have no idea right now, I used my 2X glasses and gave everything a

    once over today, then gave up before I got a headache.

  • Still don't see alot of frass but I did see one munching on a oak leaf and on a sweetgum leaf when I swapped out plants, so at least some are eating. I do see some are bunching up together on leafs which I am sure is a good sign. I'm gonna wait 3/4 days before doing a good search of the leafs for signs of eating. What temperature are you keeping yours at

  • Room temperature, about 73 on the average, day and night, it's still too cool at night to go outdoors, and the foodplant

    issue is still , an issue. I think they have gravitated to the lilac, ceanothus and the deciduous privet, I forget which species

    it is. I've never raised larva like this before, in a box with cut food plant, I like using a vase, water and a nice airy cage

    with led lighting and a timer, this is just haphazard right now. Some are clearly in early L2, with the little yellow line

    along the feet. It'll take another molt before I'll try to make a change with the setup, I've had larva expire after pecking

    along for 10 days or so at something they're not satisfied with.

    This is just one of those things, with new species, and the food plants- what works for one person doesn't always happen

    happen twice, and some sources will quote food plant as being acceptable, and fail to disclose they never produced

    an adult.

  • I had them on prunus padus twice and I had no problems to get from 60 eggs about 45 pupae.

    The first ti me I had 15 eggs and I got 14 pupae. A friend of me had 60 eggs, too. He had only 2 pupae, the rest died. He toock the same food, only 20 km away from me. With other species he had more luck then me. The same food doesń t work good with the same spezies. Propably the earth of the foodplants make a difference.

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  • Perhaps, it is interesting what ever the issue is, I know some species have regional preferences, depending on

    where the stock originated, Some species will eat about anything, switch food plants and mature, others, just

    won't even take being switched from one tree to another of the same species,

    That's where our skill at gardening comes in handy, and a person's collection of horticulture.

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