Posts by TonyL

    Dear Moderator


    I joined your wonderful Actias a few years ago. I could find my way, as you kindly gave English translations. Unfortunately my German is limited to buying alcohol. I have subscribed and donated extra as 'guilt' for my needing English here. But for a long time I have not been able to find my way in Actias.de. Please advise me how I might find an English version. Kind regards Tony Leathem TonyL:)

    What has happened ? Where am I going wrong in breeding butterflies and moths ? WHY don't my butterflies or moths mate ????


    50 years ago I collected and bred silk-moths (from Hugh Newman) and many native wild British lepidoptera. They mated successfully in muslin cages generally 1 metre cubed. I continued breeding, successfully, as a hobby for the next few decades. BUT since about 20 years ago I have had decreasing success; the lepidoptera of all my species failed to mate ! Occasionally, if I artificially manouvered their claspers together they would mate. And for 5 years now I have had NO natural mating. I try varying ratios of M:F, air-flow, shade, light, warmth, cage, room, indoors v outdoors, etc, but although the females often appear willing, the males are uninterested. I assume females raising and extending their abdomen to approaching males is a 'provocative sign', expressing willingness to mate.


    I am wondering if there is something 'in the air' ?


    I live in a rural village in Oxfordshire, UK, North of Didcot. The prevailing wind is SW. Much (?sprayed) farming country. Didcot is a railway junction and barracks town.
    I previously lived in a more remote village in Oxfordshire, UK


    Yet today "Worldwide Butterflies" the big butterfly farm near Sherborne, Dorset, UK (with their lovely clean SW winds) claim :
    " ...... Prolific breeding has produced a lot of larvae of some species so there are special offers for larger numbers.
    May is a very active month.... and more butterflies are producing spring eggs and larvae....." ---- SO I'M VERY FRUSTRATED !!!


    Any suggestions as to why I am such a failure as a 'butterfly pimp' ?


    Thank you.


    Tony Leathem. Oxon. 8)