Posts by kevink

    Clearly in nature, they burrow. Not always practical with breeding, I have used potting soil before, as well as dry moss in containers.

    I've had the best luck using a small plastic bin, like a small animal cage with a slotted lid filled with moss that is dry and sterile.

    I've used soils a couple of times, some larva went right down, others would wander the top for days, next time I have burrowing

    larva, I'll be using the moss and saving the money I spent on organic potting soil.

    I keep track of dates, and the amount of larva in each bin, a post-it-note works fine to write down details. I've put as many as 10 larva

    in a small to meduim cage, perhaps 2 liters at most, it depends on when the larva are put in, you don't want larva disturbing each other.

    If it's shredded newspaper or other medium you prefer, very well, I have a supply of fluffy moss, and it's free.

    There you are, maybe the cold killed them, maybe not. I have refrigerated species that I found out later weren't supposed to be exposed

    to low temps, and didn't have issues, so one can never tell. Hard with cocoons to determine alive or not, and these lugardi cocoons are

    tough, I think they could be stepped on and survive (not recommended) . I have a digital scale I use, but it only works best when you

    weigh animals when you get them, or just after forming a pupa.

    Like I mentioned earlier, and as Bartmantis said, exotics are tricky, I have a nearly 2 year old Rothschildia arethusa still going, the others having hatched sporadically.

    Don't worry people! If anything happens with my Epiphora lugardi, you'll be the 2nd to know.

    Well, if they survived the winter, look up the weather in Kenya, it's the wet season. I have lugardi as well, I kept mine cool and dry

    over the winter in an unheated room, now they have been warm and humid since March 29 2024. Nothing is happening for me.

    Soon I will probably have to see if I can weigh them without taking them off the string they are hanging on.

    I did have a still unidentified mystery moth hatch from a cocoon in the batch that had a slightly different look to it some time back,

    I made a post about it.

    That's obvious. Arranging a picture so that it looks somewhat natural is not always easy. Unfortunately, the models are not always as professional and relaxed as we would like... :winking_face:

    I like taking photos of the various life stages as well, uncooperative is an understatement when it comes to animals, especially ones worried about being eaten. Much patience, and it gets tested. Luckily now we have digital photography and can "develop" our photos easily, as well as trash them.

    Bare bones works. I have some branches on stands I use, and will attach cocoons to it if possible, others, like pupae, get laid

    On paper towels, more often than not, the animals climb up the screen walls after emerging.

    Having empty space becomes more important than a "habitat", like Policeman said, 'they're not pets', and don't

    much appreciate our decorating attempts.

    I keep a temperature and humidity gauge in my screen cages, which I use exclusively, save for one I use for equatorial species

    that is made from plastic panels.

    I will however, use live plants when possible for larva, it makes early stages much easier, although there is always bit more risk bringing soil

    into the closed environment.

    One of the easiest species I've ever raised. There must be some problem with the foodplant. I use screen cages for all stages, and periodically

    mist larva as well as the pine . The larva don't seem to like the water, but it raises humidity.


    Something interesting has in fact happened.

    I am waiting for the batteries to recharge, and will post a photo, as well as try

    an image search.

    A mystery moth appeared. Not a Saturniidae. Looks like a big Noctuid, with it's wings folded over the back.

    All the cocoons look the same, with minor differences in color.

    I have 10 lugardi cocoons I have had since Dec. of '23. I kept them in an unheated room around 70f, and dry.

    About 3 weeks ago I moved them to a cage I use for high humidity and heat, which I cycle warm and wet conditions,

    to attempt to replicate the weather in Kenya, easy to look it up, it's warm and wet this time of year.

    Foodplant, I have a book which lists ceanothus as a foodplant. I think African flora is going to be difficult to locate.

    I am hoping to see some moths any minute now... I'll post any interesting developments.

    You might try artificial diet, I have diet I bought at Amazon for Hyles lineata, which they ate, but it is a labor intensive

    endeavor, constant cleaning is the drawback.


    I keep , for the most part, all my adult moths in my studio apt., and they don't seem affected by anything other than the

    passage of time, as it relates to day length. They will become active at different parts of the night, according to species habit.

    Of course, lights are sometimes on until 11pm, but rarely later.

    Some moths become active earlier in the evening, others later, seems like 3 am is the sweet spot for making fluttering noises :smiling_face:

    Even female moths in a bag will adhere to the same schedule as siblings on the "outside".

    Mutations , or perhaps evolution may be in play. I raised a brood of Brahmaea wallichi this winter on Ligustrum japonica, 2 deformed pupa,

    and one dwarf out of 16 larva. I am fairly certain the dwarf was caused by the failure of the larva to consume it's cast off skin at some point,

    as to why 2 were deformed, all conditions were identical for all 16.

    A batch of Rothschildia arethusa ova, laid by moths which spent a long time in their cocoons was nearly all infertile, I would attribute their

    long diapause to suboptimal conditions, which may have contributed to the infertility.

    I'll probably catch some disagreement. I am always skeptical of "inbreeding" as a cause of aberrations. Are the most successful

    and numerous animals on the planet so susceptible to genetic crowding?

    I think many abnormal specimens are just numbers, in that eventually, anything can happen in living systems. I am aware of that genetics

    Diversity is best, but to attribute every anomaly to one cause doesn't sound very scientific.

    I think it's more likely that environmental factors cause these things.. Cold shock. Lack of quality food. Temperature.

    The problem I see with computer language is "assumption", in that when I bought the first desktop back in the mid 90's,

    I'm expected to know what all these bizarre and inexplicable terms mean. The assumption is that because you use it, you should know,

    I already had to learn new words to use the machine in the first place. Maybe I'm off topic, but there are a number of things I still

    Have no idea how to do or what certain terms mean. And- and, you don't have to be stupid to have this stuff go over your head,

    I'm not stupid, at least as far as I can tell or several other people believe. :face_with_tongue:

    Some of us are never going to eat insects. Period. Discussion is pointless.

    Secondly, words like "cookies" "java" etc. mean what? To who? To me it means

    chocolate chip discs that I dip in milk, the caffeinated water I drink in the morning,

    or late at night.

    Making sense would go a long way to helping people create things. :winking_face:

    Thank you.

    Luckily, I live on the coast, and things are just leafing out now, at least the early ones.

    I've got the lilac, and the ovalifolium privet, as well as japonica.

    A nice leafy evergreen would be helpful, preferably one I've got already.

    Chance mating, by any measure. The stock is from a batch I bought in the spring of

    2023, I had 2 females hatch last May, and nothing until a couple days ago. I tried all

    the usual emergence triggers I could think of, and they decided to hatch in my cool room,

    comparatively, to my normal 73f.

    alternatively, you could use a container like a petri dish and mist the top lid for humidity, I've hatched ova with extra humidity, and

    without, it seems the same, although animals from moist climates probably benefit from the moisture, never put leaves in with ova,

    it's like turning on the grow lights for seeds you just planted- a waste of resources and effort, and the leaves may give off carbon dioxide.

    Room temperature has always been adequate as well.

    I have hand paired Papilio polyxenes and Papilio macheon oregonia.

    They were both similar in apparent parameters-

    those being angle of copulation, time of day and age, as well as before and after feeding

    For me, it seemed easier in the late morning before feeding, with animals more than 1 day old.

    I was a first timer, at the start it seemed impossible, but after sticking with it, I managed to end up with too

    many ova and larva. The butterflies need gently held and simply press the abdomens together while slightly

    squeezing to expose the genitalia, at basically a straight on approach, rather than an angle.

    All that being said, it's still something that takes patience and experience, which I still lack somewhat.