crossbreeding moths

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    • crossbreeding moths

      High School student here, one of my longtime goals of keeping lepidoptera as a hobby is to attempt to cross breed them. Currently I have a couple questions. Can only species in one genus be able to pair with each other, i.e. hyalophora... X hyalophora...? Is there any technique for pairing them? Do pheromones from one species attract the other species in the same genus? Also, if I do get subsequent larvae would they accept the hosts of the parents? I want to attempt this with hyalophora cecropia x hyalophora euryalus this summer, since in the north america region, the hyalophora genus tends to have natural blend zones. Maybe it might be easier to crossbreed them? Any help would be appreciated, especially anyone with experience on this cross.

      Kind Regards,
      Jason Ni
      ENTOMO-SATSPHINGIA
    • Can only species in one genus be able to pair with each other, i.e. hyalophora... X hyalophora...?
      It depends on the family but yes, if you mention Saturniidae, it commonly happens that males are attracted of females of closely related species. This is why some Saturniidae form natural hybrids, although it is a rare event, but Hyalophora but also Saturnia sp. and a few others are known to hybridise.

      Is there any technique for pairing them?
      - Handpairing
      - Natural pairing
      - For hybrids: place a female of the same species in the same room but not in the same enclosure as the male, so the male will smell her pheromones - but also include a female of a different species within the same enclosure. In confusion he will sometimes pair with her

      Do pheromones from one species attract the other species in the same genus?
      Not as a general rule but yes, in some genera it happens

      Also, if I do get subsequent larvae would they accept the hosts of the parents?
      Most of the time they accept the host plant of the mother species as far as I know.
      However, sometimes they accept both, and sometimes they accept neither(!) which means the L1 just starve and die

      I want to attempt this with hyalophora cecropia x hyalophora euryalus this summer, since in the north america region, the hyalophora genus tends to have natural blend zones. Maybe it might be easier to crossbreed them? Any help would be appreciated, especially anyone with experience on this cross.
      I am terrible at breeding Hyalophora, for me it is one of the most difficult Saturniidae genera to breed ;( ;( ;( so I am following in case other people have tips for us!
      For caresheets and info please check out my website: breedingbutterflies.com/
      It has a lot of info for our Lepidoptera enthousiasts and breeders! :falter: :falter:
    • There exsists some literature about crossbreeding of Hyalophora species. I remember one: Collins, M. M. Hybridization and speciation in Hyalophora (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Saturniidae): A reappraisal of W. R. Sweadner's classic study of a hybride zone. Annals of Carnegie Museum. Vol. 66, Number 4 Pp. 411 - 455 (1997)
      This paper might be a little special. At least you will find here more reverences about this topic .
      Regards
      G. Fleischmann
    • I have crossbreed hyalophora last season, a male euryalus with a columbia female, and the larva grew well on a cherry tree.
      The mating was seemingly simple, both moths were kept together in a cage, there may have been other Columbia females in
      with them, I don't exactly recall.My hatch rate with the ova was 100%, I think the female didn't lay more than a hundred ova,
      but that might be a common amount for Columbia.
      Other genus can interbreed, I know graellsia is commonly interbred with actias, and I'm sure I've read of less likely pairings as
      well.
      Good luck with your efforts.
      Kevin
    • Thank you all very much, I'll take in the given advice :). I am a bit worried as I have never kept Euryalus, but I think this upcoming summer could work around that! I just found out about a hybrid index of some sort for saturniidae on Bill's site too, I think that will also be some good reference. hybindex.htm
      Also, should I rear both broods of Euryalus and Cecropia on Lilac? I've tried apple before for Cecropia, and that worked out pretty well. Though I have heard there are good results with cherry and others. Over here there is a bunch of liquidamber in my area, but I have heard it doesn't work too well.