Rhodinia verecuna eggs overwintering

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  • The valley area got some snow yesterday, and it's turned cool here again on the coast. Only 2 of my larva are in

    L2, and the rest are still in L1, I get confused sometimes about instars- is a hatchling an L1? At any rate, 2 have molted

    and have the blue tubercles, most are eating lilac, and some are eating ceanothus victoriae, a couple are on weeping

    wllow, and a couple more on the privet, the largest 2 are eating the ceanothus.

    Today I'm going to change the setup and use cut branches in water, I suppose using the box with cut food has been

    working well enough, but the lilac doesn't hold up well that way at all, and I'd like to give them a bit more ventilation

    in a larger cage.

  • I have a number that look like your pictures, and some older ones as well, it looks like 6 are eating ceanothus, and

    an as yet to be determined number are eating lilac, and those are the 2 remaining food plants. Lilac wilts

    quickly, and is a lousy choice for cut food, I spent 22 bucks on a live lilac in a 6 inch pot, and have been using

    that for about a week, normally, it's a risk using nursery material right away, but I know the nursery owner,

    I'm always asking her for weird food plants, at least weird for this area.

    Until I remembered the larva hatched on the 1rst of April though the 4rth, I was worried they weren't growing

    very quickly. Sometimes time is just something that I can't seem to keep track of, which is why it's really useful

    keeping a notebook.

    It does seem the larva that are in later instars are small, maybe that's normal, it's probably normal, I'm just projecting.

    We are mere tenths of an inch from a record wet April, which is wet here in the Pacific Northwest, maybe in another

    4 weeks, I could risk some larva sleeved outdoors. Did you get an email offer for Achertonia atropos? I think we have

    the same mutual USA seller. I'm getting my potato ready-

  • Good to hear about the ceanothus, I wasn't aware they could eat that. Haven't tried lilac with a species but I hear it is pretty popular. Unfortunately all the nurseries around me use chemicals and would have to specially order it which would take too much time.

    Yes I did get a email for the death heads moth. Its a species I have wanted to raise for awhile but at the moment have way to many caterpillars that it would be pushing it. Maybe when the species I'm raising start spinning I might be lucky to find one. I started to guess we had the same seller when we both had a rarer species hatching at the same time and both in the US. Its nice to know for the future if we both pick up the same species and can trade what works and doesn't. Did you pick up dubernardi recently too?

  • I had my big run with dubernardi last season, it took everything I had and luckily Pinus contorta is common here,

    and my Uncle has a house nearby with a bunch of it, I was going down every 2 days near the end for more pine, 160

    or so larva, It was my fourth time raising them, and the only time with eggs from stock I'd raised, I never witnessed the

    pairings, so when the 2 females that layed began to deposit eggs, I really couldn't sell ova without risking a big refund

    scenario- so, I did learn some new things though, the larva I kept indoors grew up to 2 grams larger than the ones I sleeved

    outside, but it does get cool here at night, even in the summer. Rhodinia fugax is listed as taking ceanothus, so that's why

    I tried it with the verecunda, and lilac is a useful food plant, I try not to use it, because the bush is still small. I've been

    lucky at our nurseries, organic is a big deal, so they really avoid any type of pesticides, What's a kicker, is the time

    I had fugax sent over from Japan, at 60 bucks for 2 dozen eggs, they wouldn't touch the ceanothus and it was Febuary,

    without another leaf in sight, they died hungry.

  • Hi Coultrain,

    I have 1 that has spun up, another has stopped eating and must be getting ready to spin, the cocoons are an

    amazing neon green color, so now that leaves 4 larva eating ceanothus, and they must be close to spinning as well.

    My larva hatched on April 2nd, more or less, so it's been pretty normal for Saturniidae, at least when I raise them

    indoors, outside it's a lot different, our cool climate here really slows things down when I sleeve larva outdoors.

    I heard from Michael a few days ago, and he told me that quite a few of the other Rhodinia buyers were having

    problems with larva expiring. I expect my 6 to spin up without any problems, the remaining ones eating lilac are

    going to be a different issue, some are still in L2, others appear to be in L3 and L4. I read that item on Bart Coppens

    website about fugax, but I'm not seeing it with the verecunda, 5 weeks is pretty normal with any of the other species

    I've raised indoors, dubernardi, isis, maenas.

    What remains to be seen is an adult moth this fall-


  • Nice, the open ended lime green cocoons is something I have been looking forward too. I just saw one spinning today so after 2 months of worrying they are starting. I also have one that is half the size of the others for reasons I don't know. Its eating fine just not growing.

    It seemed like their first instar was really difficult and some would just not make it even after eating, I wonder if it is humidity or heat but its not surprising that everybody was having this issue. Would like to know how their setup was to figure out the issue.

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  • No way! I was just thinking about our Rhodinia conversations. I now have 4 cocoons spun by 6 ceanothus eating larva, 2

    of those remain, so it probably is true that this genus can be a little slow in the 5th instar, my larva hatched on April 1/3,

    and I have the larva indoors, at room temperature, the food is fresh enough, I replace the ceanothus after 3 days or so,

    and keep it in water, and I also mist the larva every 5 or 6 days. The larva eating lilac are inexplicable, some are growing,

    and others may not even make it to maturity before the lilac loses it's leaves in the fall, if any on lilac make it at all, definitely

    been an unusual experience so far, clearly, our provided environments are not Taiwan, and we're doing something wrong

    on some level, it's not the first time I've had exotics and even EU species give me unexpected problems. A little while ago,

    our seller told me a number of people were having issues, and that while hatch rates were100%, other buyers had lost all

    their larva after several instars. I feel that my climate has got to be somewhat similar to the habitat, it's never too hot here,

    and looking up the local weather in Taichung City the last time, it was warmer there, maybe that's part of it, humidity may

    play into it as well.

  • I have not heard any squeaking, from larva or cocoons. I have 5 spun up, and one holdout on ceanothus.

    The ones eating lilac have been evicted from the house and are now in my greenhouse, the largest may be

    in L5, but believe it or not, there are still large L2 eating lilac. All from larva hatched on April 1 thru the 3rd.

    How many days is it so far? I'd have to get out a pencil. At least I have some cocoons out of it, now we wait

    for fall, to see.

  • I only have the 6 cocoons that fed on ceanothus. The rest are now in my greenhouse eating lilac, and I did try switching them

    to ceanothus, but not every species will switch food plant. So, the lilac is wrapped in what I think is a secure screen

    tube and I'm not touching it until August at the earliest, it's hard to see inside, I've raised a few different species,

    and the Rhodinia seem to just blend in with the foliage. For me, breeding is fun, for all it's variables and issues, just

    getting the 6 cocoons is something, I've went to far more work for less.

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