Post by mercuryvapor on Jul 29, 2011 13:55:34 GMT -8
I finally found some arctia caja utahensis caterpillars earlier this month. They pupated about 13 days ago. I really want to get a pairing and rear this species. I have very little experience rearing arctiids but lots of experience with saturnidae. I don't want to mess this up so I am looking for some advice.
When should I expect them to eclose? I am assuming within the next few days. What time of day should I expect them to eclose? If I take a female back to the area I found her should I expect her to call in a wild male? Does this species feed as an adult? If so, is feeding necessary or desirable? Once bred will the female automatically lay all of her eggs without special treatment?
Thanks in advance for any tips. I will have more questions later if I get a pairing.
Post by Ascalaphus on Jul 29, 2011 22:47:15 GMT -8
I have some experience with rearing arctia caja from Europe. The adults eclose after 2 to 3 weeks, from my experience this usually happens between 10 am and 3 pm. The adults don't feed. Just put them together in a flight cage and in 1 or 2 nights they'll mate. At the time, I didn't take my flight cage outside, but this didn't cause any problems. If you have a female, it should be possible to attract wild males as well. The eggs are laid in a period of 2-4 days after mating. Good luck!
Post by mercuryvapor on Aug 4, 2011 9:05:41 GMT -8
Well I had three pop out, two females and one male. The first was a female on July 31st. I took her out that night to try to attaract a male. No luck. The next day on August 1st a male emerged. I took them both out and kept them in separate cages still trying to attract a wild male. No luck by 12:30 a. m. so I put them together and they mated within an hour. She has deposited a large number of eggs.
On August 2nd another female emerged. I only have one more pupa and I don't think it is alive. I need to get a wild male for her to mate with. I took her out the first night and just left her in a closed cage all night. I checked early in the morning hoping there would be some males around. There were none. I took her out again last night and stayed until 1:15 a.m. There were no males attracted to her.
I've been taking them to the same area where I found the caterpillars. I've also been setting up a MV light in the area but about a half mile away. No arctia caja have come to the MV light.
I'm wondering if the flight is occurring but I'm missing it because it's even later than 1:00 a.m. I really would like to get a mate for this female also. If any of you have any advice I would love to hear it. I can find very little information about flight habits and nothing specific.
Also how long do I have before the eggs start hatching?
Put the male in with the second female if you still have him.
You're right, males can mate with at least 3 females. Using UV-light, I have never attracted Arctia caja before 01:00 am. They become active really late! The eggs should hatch in 2 weeks or so... Good luck!
If you keep some of the larvae at temperatures above 25 degrees, then these will produce a second generation in autumn. Hibernation is not essential for the larvae. During the winter, cabbage is the best foodplant.
Last Edit: Aug 6, 2011 7:43:41 GMT -8 by Ascalaphus
Post by mercuryvapor on Aug 8, 2011 9:57:51 GMT -8
Success! I spent the night on the mountain at 9000'. I had nine males come in to the MV and UV lights. The first was at 1:30 a.m. and the last was at 3:00 a.m. I went again last night and got four more males between 1:15 and 2:30.
Should I expect females at the same time? Are they less common at the lights?