Posts by Renco

    Hello Ute,

    I think it's Cornus alba that hasn't been pruned for a long time. The flowers are hidden behind the buds so it is hard to tell.
    It normaly flowers during spring but with this warm winter, strange things happen.

    Best wishes,


    Hi all,

    Past two years I did some Morpho peleides breeding during summer, this year they didn't grow that well because of the low temperatures indoors. When I went away on summer vacation (second week of August), 6 larvae hadn't made it to pupating and I sleeved them on my Wisteria chinensis in the backyard to give them a chance to survive. When I got back, I found 6 pupae in the sleeve and decided to see what will become of them outside. At the end of September they emerged but the colours were pale and totally different from the Morpho's that pupated and ware kept inside. I'm quite sure the temperature caused the pale colours.

    Greetings Renco

    Hello Dennis,

    I'm feeding my Actias selene and Attacus atlas on Prunus lusitanica rigth now. I often use it as food in wintertime just like Prunus laurocerasus, both species are very close related. A couple of years ago I used it to feed my Automeris naranja and that worked fine as well. I never tried Rothschildia on P. laurocerasus of P. lusitanica so I'm not sure if they will accept that.

    Best wishes,


    Hi Arkadiusz,

    You probably don't have Ligustrum ovalifolium or Ligustrum japonicum, that should stay green till it freezes -10ºC.
    Prunus laurocerasus is a good host plant as well, that should stay green all winter.
    I suppose you could just try if they accept Vinca. I'm rearing some atlas larvae as well at the moment, they are on a mixed diet of Ligustrum vulgaris, Prunus laurocerasus and Salix viminalis, they probably won't mind if I add an other host plant. I will put some Vinca major in as well tonight, just to see if they will eat it.

    As Steve said, just hatched larvae don't eat much the first couple of days. I had good results raising them on P. laurocerasus so I don't think that will cause any problems. Even in small and closed containers they didn't seem to have much trouble with the hydrogen cyanide from the leaves.

    Every now and then I have caterpillars with the same problem. Sometimes it occurs during a molt, other times while the caterpillar is emptying his intestines before pupating.
    I think it's something like a hemorrhoid and till now the problem always solved itself within a day.

    Gruß, Renco

    Hi Marco,

    I can't tell you if it's a male or female by this picture but it's quite simple if you loot at the last body segment, the male has two normal segments, the female has one long segment. (twice normal length)

    The difference between male and female pupae is quite clear to see if you know where you have to look at.

    On the left side a female, on the right side a male B. certhia pupae. The female has a sort of /I\ marking at her last segments. Just take a good look, you'll see.

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    Hello Steffen and Renate,

    I have the same problem here, two of my caterpillars have already pupated.
    The strange thing with the pupae of my first caterpillars, is that that about half the cocoons have emerged, the others haven't but the pupae inside are still alive and look healthy.

    I know that L. quercus in the most northern parts of Europe, take two years to develop. The first winter the caterpillars overwinter, the second winter they overwinter as pupae. That's why I don't think it's much of a problem to overwinter the pupae. I guess we don't have much of a choice than to try it out.

    Prunus lusitanica is a good host plant for Actias selene, I raised the caterpillars past winter and young caterpillars (L1 andL2) preferred P. lusitanica over P. laurocerasus. As they developed, the preference seemed to have gone and they ate both leaves even well. This was also the case with Attacus atlas caterpillars.

    Hello Renate,

    You could try feeding Salix sp. ass well. My caterpillars have a menu of Ligustrum ovalifolium , Salix caprea, Corylus avellana and Fraxinus excelsior. Here they nibble a little on the Corylus and Ligustrum and accept the Salix better, Fraxinus is most favourite.

    Good luck!


    I have witnessed the copulation of my first male and female and it just took a short period, it could be 10 or 20 minutes, I am sure it didn't last as log as half an hour so you could have missed it easily.

    I agree with Franz, the three ova are not fertilised. A few hours after the copulation my first female laid about 200 eggs in one night, the second fertilised female produced about 150 eggs and also a few hours after copulation. Both matings took place around 18:00 - 19:00 h. eggs ware laid the same night an the following nights just a few eggs ware dropped.

    Regards, Renco

    Hello Alex:female:

    I think food is one of the things that causes this, other things could be temperature and the number of caterpillars in the same space. Some species grow larger with low temperatures, and if you put 50 caterpillars in a small box, they will be disturbed ferry often and move around a lot. I think this consumes a lot of energy and the caterpillars won't grow as large as under normal conditions.

    I saved a Lymantria dispar egg package from last year and gave them the same food.
    Because I couldn't take care of 300 caterpillars, I kept 70 of them, the rest crawls around in my garden. 50 caterpillars ware put in a box of 20x20x30 cm. and the other 20 in an other box of the same size. Guess what happens.
    As expected, the 20 caterpillars are still growing and develop quite normal and a lot faster than the caterpillars in my garden. The 50 caterpillars grow fast but pupate much sooner.

    Photo: One of the pupae from the 50 caterpillar box. The pupae is about 3 times smaller than the egg package it crawled out.

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