Posts by kevink

    It'll probably expire. Personally, I'd keep it and see what happens before acting hastily.

    A. sad thing to see with transport damage.

    I. ship butterfly pupa to a friend in the UK nearly every year, each pupa I wrap in tissue paper and secure it with

    a bit of tape, then the whole lot gets placed in a secure container with more packing, and placed in a shipping

    box with more packing- the post is unkind to fragile items, I've never had a problem, your seller should take

    better care of an animal that has made it so far, only to be damaged in a "traffic accident".

    It's normal enough, I never seem to pay much attention to it, mostly when I'm changing food plant material, or trying to

    move sleeved larva. But they just park themselves for a day or so, some spin a silk pad as well to help pull off the

    Old skin. I have learned to assume that larva that aren't actually eating or crawling about are probably molting. It can take

    some time before they begin eating again, presumably until the mouth parts harden up.

    I've found weighing with a digital scale is best, for visible inspection of a pupa, the antennae of dubernardi are

    Of similar size between the sexes, and you need to look at genitalia.

    A.s far as size of pupa, it varies widely with rearing conditions, I've grown them up to 5 grams , and as little as under

    2 grams, depending on conditions. When I rear a batch of anything, I use that group as the standard at the time,

    if you follow my reasoning with varying rearing conditions, for instance, if you have a batch from indoors, it's going

    to be different than a batch from outdoors.

    Mating is another issue, sometimes they just won't pair up, other times, they pair up unseen, and then the issue of

    Hatching, which this species has it's own time clock for. Sometimes they hatch a few weeks after spinning, other times

    it can take months.

    If you try opening the cocoons, I typically use a scissors and cut along the side, using a razor blade is not as precise or

    as easy as it might seem, I only open in special instances, unless you need to know sex for selling, you have what you got,

    a it doesn't make much difference.

    I've watched the whole process with Saturniidae larva, recently Actias dubernardi, where the mature larva were not able to

    spin a cocoon because I stopped them from spinning in the frass before I was able to transfer them to a container with moss,

    that I like to let the larva spin in when I can catch them before they begin spinning,.

    So, to stop rambling... it took 6 to 7 days for the larva to shrivel up, shed their skin and become a pupa, then they

    Have to harden. It's a good thing to know if you are intending to ship and waiting for enough to fill an order.

    Make sure they have formed a pupa, for most species, I give 10 days to be sure, and then they'll be safe to store or handle.

    I don't worry too much about a slow cool down, but it can't hurt.

    a simple method I recently learned works very well.

    In an airtight container, lay your specimens on wet paper towels, they can be in

    Glassine, or not, then place the container in the refrigerator.

    No mold inhibitor is needed.

    Depending on size, it can take as little as 24 hours, or a week, I used this for Ornithoptera

    and it took about 6-7 days, the specimens spread very easily.

    Being in the cold is the key to preventing mold and keeping the humidity up.

    A.s far as age of specimens, I don't think it matters once they are dry, people often rehydrate to

    reset old material.

    When it comes time for pupation, things can be difficult sometimes, when I rear caterpillars, I try to remove larva

    ready to pupate to a dedicated container. That's not always possible though, sometimes larva change color, or

    you might notice them purging and begin to look for a pupation spot.

    When I can't remove a larva, it just has to stay until it's safe to move, and then that needs done carefully, by

    clipping off a plant stem sometimes and getting it out of the way of the still feeding larva.

    As far as container size, I use fairly large cages, 40 by 40 by 60 is a good size, I also keep foodplant in an

    upright position, typically in plastic bottles with water, or potted plants, if you use containers with water,

    it's important to prevent larva from invariably finding a way to drown themselves, which they can be very good at


    Use a ventilated cage to start with. I've raised luna indoors in a large cage before, using sweet gum and all survived.

    It's up to individuals, and I realize many people use plastic boxes for larva with success, but to me, it is an unatural

    method. Perhaps if you need high humidity, that's one thing, but not for temperate species.

    Frankly, I don't understand the box method at all, I use cages with cut branches in water, with the larva prevented

    from drowning by what ever will work.

    I rarely alter cocoons. Sometimes a moth will have trouble exiting, it can get stuck for any number of reasons,

    sometimes they get tangled in the silk, other times, it seems to be some other issue.

    If moths from a single batch are all having problems, you can take the pupa out of the cocoons, but that would

    probably indicate an issue with the stock itself or improper conditions, like humidity.

    The moth may have been unhealthy from the start, I've never had a moth live a normal lifespan if it has had a

    problem exiting the cocoon.

    Actias dubernardi, as do many other species, before pupation, or spinning a cocoon change color. A mature

    dubernardi will change to a brownish color, and it is a clear color change, besides they purge before looking for a pupation

    spot, I try to catch them as soon as they change color, and place the larva in a box with a pupation medium, I use moss,

    but many things will work, tissue, etc.

    Larva will often leave the food plant to look for a spot, but not always, and they'll spin in the needles, or leaves.

    Personally, I think that your larva looks sick. It may have something stuck to it's butt, and with care, even a stuck

    molt skin can be removed. I just raised around 200 of these guys, and a few issues came up, they pretty much raise

    themselves if you keep the food fresh, and things clean.

    Many species will switch food plant. You can only try, I have switched Hyalophora cecropia from Alnus rubra (red alder)

    to peach before, and all spun up properly.

    I also am under the possibly mistaken impression that larva are more likely to switch food plant after a molt, it may also

    depend on the maturity of the larva, large and hungry caterpillars may switch more readily.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of pets. Unless you have your larva sleeved outdoors, or they are

    feeding on something that'll last more than 3 days in water, you're going to need a friend that likes bugs and knows


    Even my saltwater fish need attention, at least every other day. I might as well get some cats too.

    Hope you can work it out.

    They don't care about what you want, that's how. There are plenty of rules and regulations made by people

    who have no clue what they're doing, or are influenced by a myriad of other "factors". That's just the way it is.

    It's all done in your best interest, of course. It's what makes people consider doing things outside the rules.

    Many hobbyists simply disregard the rules, there are still parameters that limit even the ability of those persons,,

    with shipping times to consider, I've purchased diapaused stock safely, and if ova can be sent in a simple

    envelope, it will usually arrive alive, but I've only had about 60 or 70% success doing that. It does pretty much

    eliminate most tropical butterflies and sphinx from being sent overseas. There is expedited shipping, but i think

    that would raise issues at customs. That's my opinion, and if there are people who do it with success, they're

    probably not going to reveal sources and how they manage. I know breeders who get uncommon material here

    in the states, and I have no Idea how they get it, it's a matter of sources and networking.

    You can certainly apply for an import permit, but it may raise a red flag, or simply drag out until you give up.

    I'd think that using a uv light during the day would produce no results, unless something was simply attracted

    to a white sheet.

    While people will set up on most any night, the light of a full moon alone will interfere with the effort.

    Besides that, night flyers fly after dark, while some day fliers are attracted after dark, it's unlikely they'd even

    notice a uv light.