Posts by Fede

    I have had some troubles with breeding. Problems are mainly with Papilio genus, but sometimes have happened with Saturniidae and some Danaide.

    The caterpillars stop feeding, dejections become more fluid that usually and some areas become black. Finally the Caterpillar dies. Once it happen it is quite difficult to cut off the disease and all the stock dies. Main problems become just before molting. Sometimes the caterpillar seems to be healthy and it dies waiting to molt or before pupate.
    Any idea about the disease? How can I avoid it? It have happened even with new stock in all new containers, and with (theoretically) material free of contamination.

    Thanks for clarification (and for the deference of using english), feel free to write in German if you feel confortable google translator is magic!

    I think you're absolutely rigth and the horizontally - vertically thesis is very interesting. I have been using bleech, an alcoholic hand desinfection solution, and microwave exposition for 1 min. but finally I was desperated! so I decided to discard containers.

    Regarding desinfection, do you think and UV 8W fluorescent black ligth (as those we use for moth trapping) fits for desinfection?

    Just as a data, the "virus" have spread fast and lethal with P.machaon and P. nireus (probably nireus was the focus). P. demodocus stock seems to have resist @ 50% and P. polytes seems to be doing fine.

    Whith P. machaon if one caterpillar was affected in a container with about 25 cats, even splitting in small groups and isolating some, after 2/3 days the stock was completely lost. I have observed high afection in L5, but also some L3 and L2 were affected.

    Dear Colleagues

    (Sorry non German speaker, I have to use the translator but I get the posts)

    It is very interesting for me because my stock have been also infected with that what I also think it is a virus. I tell my experience to give more data to clarify situation.

    I was breeding about 100 cats of P.machaon from wild females and everything was Ok, caterpillars were in L3/L4. By that tim I received some exotic Papilio caterpillars and many caterpillars of the stock were dead, only 3/4 alive and after some days everyone die. Symthoms, as you describe. Caterpillars stop eating, "shits" seems to to be as cylindrical and dry as usually and after 2 days caterpillar are in the sole of the container sorrounded by a liquid simmilar to the deyection before pupating. Even I was carefull with cleaning and so, the disease passed from this stock to my willd healthy stock. After I realize that firsts caterpillars were infected I made some groups trying to isolate illness. No success, the diseasy is VERY contagious. Even some caterpillars I was breeding alone in potted hostplants inside my home and with full sun get ill in some days. A complete disaster.

    My reaction now to control situation is to discard all containers that have been in contact with contaminated caterpillars, and wait some weeks to breed again (I expect the virus concentration will be diluited if no body to host is available), I'm afraid that is the only solution.