Posts by kevink

    That is a good question. Any that don't hatch within the above mentioned 4-8 weeks may never hatch, I've had

    live cocoons of dubernardi persist for over a year. I've tried everything to try and break the dormancy, or at

    least everything I could think of, they either hatch on their own or not.

    Ova has to pass through the female to be fertilized, I brought up the same question once in another forum, when I

    found a female Papilio zeliacaon, which had expired, even the one egg stuck to her abdomen did not hatch. I've never

    had an issue with dispatching unpaired females, the unlaid ova simply dry up with the rest of the insect.

    Unpredictability. When I had isabellae livestock I couldn't get them to pair, so congratulations on your efforts.

    I have over time, discovered that a pairing does not mean you'll get ova, fertilized or not. It's just one of those things

    with living organisms, personally, while Graellsia does seem to have some apparent problems with pairing, like not mating with

    siblings, I think too many issues are attributed to inbreeding,

    Perhaps your females will lay towards the end of their lifespan.

    I think covid has changed the availability of species to an extent, I would agree that making money breeding is just

    about impossible, the amount of work that goes into pulling off a few hundred of the same species, would at an hourly

    rate of pay for your labor make animals unaffordable. Maybe on farms, where species like Atlas are churned out, it's

    not that way, but how many people need 100 attacus?

    I'm doing well to simply get the hobby to not cost me too much money. I just spent 50 usd on foodplant to raise a new

    species, that I'm sure I could buy dried cheaper, if all I was interested in was specimens.

    It sounds like a disease issue I've had with larger larva, in L3 and later. Eggs could be contaminated, I know a breeder who

    disinfects all his ova with an agricultural disinfectant, I think these things are typically rare, I've saved sick larva before with

    the disinfectant "oxine", but the random nature of disease issues made constant use seem unnecessary.

    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.

    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-

    Sorry about losing your euryalus, once a larva picks a spot to spin, that's what you have to work with. The problem with the

    cage bottom, is frass, and unless you clean the bottom every day, it adds up fast, even when I use sleeves, it's almost

    easier with sleeves, because I can open one end, and pour out the waste. I would guess that you could cover the cage bottom

    with moss, you'd probably want 3 or 4 inches deep. Every larva is different, even within the group, some will go wander for a spot,

    others will just nestle in the food plant and spin there. I'll usually give a larva 7 to 10 days before I try moving a fresh cocoon.

    If the larva is simply wandering around, looking for a spot, it's safe to pick it up and put it in a separate area for spinning, it

    makes more space for the remaining larva, and you can keep track of the date you put the last larva in.

    My last big effort was 160 dubernardi raised indoors, and it went well, a little busy at times.

    I have used sphagnum moss, dried, for spinning of dubernardi, they all made nice cocoons,

    I used some small animal containers, like you get at the pet shop,

    filled them full of the sphagnum moss, and once a larva would turn brown or purge, I'd toss it in

    the box, depending on the size of the box, you could out in a dozen larva easily. Any box or bucket

    would work, as long as the larva can't escape, later the cocoons were easy to peel off the sides, and remove

    the excess moss. You just need to catch them before they start spinning, removing a larva that's in the middle of

    spinning will result in no cocoon at all, and that's a problem.

    It is interesting, since the conditions in a refrigerator do keep things dry, when I first began keeping things over the winter

    in the fridge, I did mist them periodically, trying to replicate winter weather, it's a risk of mold, and once that happens,

    it's a problem. I lost some stock due to mold, I assume, and since then use a sponge in a container just to keep up

    humidity, Honestly, I don't think it's needed, on another website forum, it was asserted that there is no difference

    between keeping stock in a closed airtight container as opposed to a more airy and natural situation. Certainly,

    with natives, in a pest proof container that allows water to run off, keeping them outdoors will work just fine,

    I've kept stock outdoors, and never had a problem, it's just a matter of them being safe over the winter,

    For species which spin cocoons, and overwinter, I keep them in the fridge, and some species can need temperatures lower

    than 45 F, moisture is not needed, as for the most part, the cocoon is weather proof, and interestingly enough, and I've

    read posts about the need for air if you put your cocoons in a container, the assertion is that pupa don't breathe, or

    breathe very little and can be kept in an air tight container, personally, I err on caution and allow for air exchange and use

    a wet sponge to keep humidity up, I keep my diapaused animals in the veggie crisper,

    For burrowing larva, I let them burrow in a material like potting soil, and then dig them out several weeks after they burrow

    in, a bucket will work fine, and it may be helpful to put a barrier, like a stick or rock next to the side of your burrowing

    container to prevent the larva from simply going around in a circle, they run into the barrier and then burrow in, I also

    put a lid on the container so it's dark. Once they have hardened, you can dig them up and treat them like a cocoon, some

    people will lay their pupa on moist peat, all that is fine for natives, but for animals which experience wet and dry seasons,

    it's different, and knowing weather patterns in the origin country is helpful. I check the livestock often enough, especially

    since they are in the fridge and that's where I keep the milk-

    You'll probably want a cage of some sort to keep the moths together, and give them something to climb on

    after hatching, usually just the sides of a cage, I use screen cages, of all sorts.

    Room temperature will work, and luna should hatch in 4-6 weeks, I'd keep them from direct sun so they don't

    Overheat, normally the cocoons would be on the ground with last year's leaves.

    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.

    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.

    No way is Actias luna going to hatch in 7 days. It's definitely inaccurate. Misting ova, I'll lightly spray the top of the container

    I'm using, to avoid the ova actually getting wet, just an increase in humidity.

    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.

    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.

    I often use a simple paper sack, with the top securely closed, one can then let the moth lay the eggs, and then when

    she's done, cut open the sack and you have a few choices , I try to leave the eggs attached to the paper, I think it

    makes hatching easier.

    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.

    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.