Hi guys just a question for ye l might be getting a chance to rear the buck moth and was wondering if theres any other foodplant other than oak it will take ? Also it mentions there late fall winter hatchings as adults what temp is required for pairing them ? Any info greatly appreciated thanks..
During my most active years the Hemileucinae were one of my specialties. I reared most of the species/subspecies, some in very high numbers and with all species combined in the 10's of thousands over the years. The high numbers for colony reseeding projects, the rest for life history and genetic studies.
H. maia larva are oligophagous feeders. Normally they use several species of Quercus, and show preferance to the so called scub oaks. I have reared them on Quercus species not found in their natural habitats without issues, and they have also been reared successfully on Salix, Populus, Prunus and Betula.
In their natural eastern range in the US (from the extreme north to extreme south), the start of flight time range will vary by latitude, and that dictates temperatures. Typically probably somewhere in the 60-80 degree average day time range. By rearing them in a lab you can control the "when" though to a degree, sooner or later, by controlling their environmental conditions.
H. maia do not feed as adults, their only purpose is to mate, so females will start calling within hours after eclosion. I mostly used "calling" cages to get all species of Hemileuca paired naturally (new blood) when I was where each species occurred naturally at the right time. The cages can also be used in the lab as well though from reared stock, and they seldom fail. They can also be hand paired as well.
Keep in mind they can also take up to several years for the adult stage to emerge naturally, although 1-2 years is the norm.
Interesting reply m8 thanks for that l never realised they spend several years to emerge . Cant work out why some species are like that pyri is another that can spend time going over if april is a cold one. Would l have difficulty rearing maia in the UK climate ? I have quite a few birch growing near me and some oak. Temps here in the UK have been up and down for years now it was 24c last april but this year looks like it will be a cold one as per normal . Anyway thanks for the reply m8
B. pumila is the only Betula I have personal knowledge of H. maia being reared on successfully, but they may use others. Quercus is their preference, so I'd use it if you have it.
Would take my writing pages and pages to cover all the reasons why generation cycles can vary widely, even within a species from the same colony. So I'll not even try. But it's all recorded in various places, and if you really want to know, do some research and do some reading.
To expand on what I said above... if you devise a micro habitat system (like I did decades ago) where you can control ALL the environmental factors (temperature, humidity, photoperiod, air flow, etc), and can obtain/maintain acceptable larval food plants you can rear any species anywhere. Even when I lived in the deep snow frozen north I reared many species year round in my cages, and from other countries/continents and many diverse habitats. IOW, my local "outside" conditions had no bearing at all on my special cages indoors.
I've been asked many times on several sites to do a write up on my cage designs and how to use them for any species... don't have the time to do it right, and no longer have them for pictures. But if you know about the life histories of Lepidoptera in general, and the particular species of interest, you can figure it out like I did. I used them for well over 40 years, and learned how for any species. HTH