Posts by kevink

    It did come from left field, not my typical understanding of human males, but some people are afraid of tiny


    Once I gave it more thought, there were female friends who were at least indifferent, there was the tarantula

    woman, the people I met when I was a volunteer at our metropolitan zoo in Portland working the Insect kiosk.

    There's hope for everyone, once at a picnic I listened intently at a girlfriend's niece describe the 2 praying mantids

    she had caught and how the female ate the girlfriends comment to me- "too bad she's not older".

    All my partners had virtually no interest in my hobbies. Family is supportive, it is an unusual hobby, and some

    persons might be intimidated by the intelligence of someone interested in the disciplines.

    Everyone keeps their caterpillars and cocoons in the bedroom, I do... that way I can keep an eye on things, the fish

    tank is there-

    An insect support group? I've personally met only a handful of other collectors, and that was pre-internet,

    we're lot more likely to locate a neighbor nowadays.

    When I was younger and people still read the hometown newspaper, I was featured twice in human interest

    stories about my entomology hobby, but even publishing our phone # (you could do that then) I only met 1

    person who donated to me their supplies from a school project.

    People usually have something in common I've never met anyone who didn't like the outdoors on some level.

    All I can add to the good advice you've already received, is that paradoxically, I have found that larva in general

    prefer older leaves.

    I've never had an issue with luna, although I have read that some have regional preferences for food plant.

    And now for something completely different. Who would have thought such insightful dialogue would come from

    the original question. I just can't picture very many people having an intelligent conversation with someone who

    would worry about my caterpillars eating their garden.

    I am reminded of a comment made by one of our elected official's concerns if a particular

    island would tip over if we put all the soldiers on one's out there if you can stand the laughter.

    I have, for the last 4 or 5 years sent USA Papilio pupa to a contact in the EU who raises them in what I'd call a conservatory,

    Papilio polyxenes, trolius ,Eurytides marcellus. I'm not aware of issues with the butterflies being damaged trying to escape.

    I suppose there are a number of variables with any particular captive environment.

    my building. I built it out of recycled wood and a few trips to the hardware store.

    I think worrying about wing damage is going to cause some headaches, I used wire mesh

    to enclose the structure, with the roof simply set on top of the finished box. The plastic material

    is a commonly used corrugated plastic. I have raised Hyles lineata inside of it, and Papilio polyxenes,

    along with some stragglers on potted plants. The floor is wood, not soil. I use potted plants for the green


    It's a wonderful idea. There are problems with greenhouses that often aren't discovered until they're in use.

    Overheating, difficult to control without some sort of ventilation, and the green house will probably not hold in

    much heat overnight. Rocks and water may help hold in heat, but it's still going to be cold in the morning without

    a heat source.

    I have a green house I use for veggies, and it took some experience to figure out how best to use it. The amount of money

    you put into it makes a difference, I made my building about 12 feet long, 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall, and covered

    the whole thing in wire screen with a door, essentially a big box, and then set a gable roof on top to help with rain.

    The sides are covered in clear plastic. I made the whole thing myself, it depends how handy you are with tools. I know someone

    with a conservatory that raises butterflies, I've only seen pictures of it, but I would guess he's built in some better solutions

    for escape. Think about what you see at the zoo- a lot of work raising tropical animals.

    I thought I could use it for butterflies or moths, and it is useful, but only for natives, I'd have a look at You-tube if I was going to build an animal specific enclosure, butterflies need a lot of space, so the bigger the better.

    I don't know. I am probably close to seeing just about everything a moth might do- I've had Actias maenas females begin

    laying ova on the first night without even calling, pairings that produce no ova, or abysmal hatch rates.

    Typically, most fertile females lay on the following night, but infertile females will sit in one spot until they begin

    to deposit infertile eggs. What I am sure of, is that there is always an amount of unpredictability that you cannot

    predict :smiling_face:

    I've missed Automeris pairing of other species due to the short period of copulation, only to find out later the micropyles

    Had turned dark when removing ova after the adults expired.

    I think Mexico has strict laws about collecting insects. I'd look into that before attempting to bring back anything.

    I remember cigarettes being expensive. Now would be a good time to quit! 8th)

    It's different here in the USA, I use envelopes sometimes to send ova overseas, for me, it depends on the clerk

    that processes the envelope, some individuals , will feel the envelope, and say- "you need a customs

    form", others, simply take the envelope and off it goes. Knowing your clerks is helpful.

    For in country mailings, I use tracked priority boxes for reliability, envelopes are only needed when expedience is


    agree with George, when moving caterpillars, make sure they are walking around, and any stationary ones need

    to be transferred with whatever they are sitting on.

    Otherwise a steady hand and the right pair of tweezers, I had this problem with a number of A. atropos larva.

    I'm not entirely sure if the skin simply got stuck, or it was me moving larva, I seem to recall that I would spot

    a larva walking about with the larger part of the shed skin stuck around the rear feet, especially because I try

    avoiding prying off larva to change food plant, it's usually easier to circumvent the will of the larva and cut the

    entire branch. One of the few times a larva can be saved by intervention.

    I never had a pairing, all moths hatched, although there were 3 males who all got stuck and needed extracted from the

    cocoon, one actually fully expanded it's wings, the others stayed wrinkled.

    I think my seller told me the moths stay copulated a lot longer than 30 minutes, That's tough with the eggs and a

    short copulation, a risk to offer for sale.

    The females did hatch first, they live longer in the colder temperatures, down to the high 30's a few nights.

    I got my specimens, and raised the larva, that's what I'm in this hobby for, so not getting a pairing, isn't a disaster.

    I've read that the eggs need about 2 months of cold weather, we are still getting cold nights now and then, but

    my willow is leafing out already, as is the privet.

    I just received some livestock from AZ, I should end up with some Agapema homogena ova, and C. splendens.

    With ova, anything can and does happen. I'm glad to see this wasn't blamed on inbreeding.

    I've had witnessed pairing of other species and the hatch rate was low, from 0- that's zero, to maybe


    Some persons feel that ova laid at the beginning of a female moths life are more likely to be gravid,

    it seems logical, but I haven't seen enough to be sure, it takes keeping notes about everything and

    separating batches.

    I try to keep humidity high for ova, and typically will lightly mist the top, and only the top of the container, like a petri dish

    Or other container.

    I've been told by an experienced breeder of the species that gunni works but produces smaller adults. How much smaller?

    I don't know. I'll be waiting for the timing to be right so I can use liuquidambar.

    cut potato pieces are a quick way to grow the plant. While atropos is polyphagous once you give them a particular plant,

    if you run out, you may have issues switching.

    As I posted earlier, I started mine on potato and had to finish on olive- they refused tomato, privet, lilac, salix babylonica,

    and probably more from the garden. These were L5, not babies, at L5 they eat stems-

    You have a lot of good information in the above posts, including using artificial diet, of which there are different choices,

    Manduca sexta is commonly raised on an artificial diet.