Breeding project in winter

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    • Breeding project in winter


      I would like to know if it is possible to breed Acherontia atropos caterpillars and adults during winter.

      If yes, do imagos/adults need to be fed in captivity? I often read yes, by handfeeding, but actually my fear is to hurt adults' wings or to give them too much stress conditions...How can I do?

      I have some plants of Ligustrum vulgare and I could breed Attacus atlas or Attacus lorquini during winter too...but I have often read about their humidity and high heat conditions, which in winter you can't find because of radiator dry heat...besides Attacus atlas are too big for my space availability, sadly and about Attacus lorquini, the same matter:I can't release them into nature and I can't let them free to fly in my room, also because I haven't got big cages;I only have 60cm high and 45cm-diameter cages!

      Alternatively I could breed Samia ricini or other Samias...but I would love to breed Acherontia atropos too, but without hurt them!

      Thanks in advance to all the people who will answer my questions!

      Best regards,

      Federico Galli.
      Colector's Secret
    • Hello,

      Breeding A.atropos during winter is no problem. Sometimes the pupae are a bit smaller but that's it.

      About feeding:
      I was worried about hurting them myself, but they are actually pretty robust.
      There are some tutorials on how to feed them. I usually hold them between thumb and indexfinger and roll out the Proboscis into a cup with honey/water solution with a toothpick or a needle. Gently pushing them down while they sit on a surface can work as well if they aren't struggling too much.

      If you don't feed them they die pretty quick and most likely won't even lay a single egg.

    • Hi!

      Thank you very much for your fast and clear reply!!

      I was very worried to do a wrong project, but it seems that it can work very well, also in winter!

      Thanks again for your reply, now I will inform about feeding Acherontia atropos.


    • you're welcome.

      Except for the quantity of foodplants available, I personally prefere winter when breeding species that do not need diapause.

      It gets pretty humid in my breeding room in summer, causing way more infections. Most of my stock that dies off does so during summer.

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