Post by hyalophora on Mar 17, 2012 22:04:33 GMT -8
Hi ,my first post here,
So it finally happened, my Hemileuca Eglanterina ova emerged today but fortunately the snowberry near my house has just started to push out.
Problem is I have limited amounts of snowberry and the weather is still very cold. I usually sleeve larvae on living Speyeria Douglisii but that wont leaf out for another month.
As I will have to rear these for about a month in ventilated containers with cut hostplant, is it necessary to also use a grow light to get the larvae feeding during the day? ( I am in a north facing apartment and have very limited sunlight ).
I have a batch of H. eglanterina that have been hatched and for a couple of week now and are doing well inside. Although they do have natural light. I have had H. eglanterina do well in the cold weather with weeks of rain. If you think of these guys living at 9,000 to 10,000 feet high in the Sierra Nevada where the nights get below freezing all the time cold must not be a problem. Although I do not know about the light requirements I think a grow light is a good idea. My experiences are these guys are very sensitive to the amount and time they get light. The more light and warmth the faster they grow.
The Hemileuciinae were a specialty of mine for decades, and I've reared 10's of thousands, including thousands of H. eglanterina (all subspecies) indoors in the environment controlled cages I designed and built, and all on cut plant.
Photoperiod does effect them, just like almost any other species, and can be used to either slow or speed up their metabolism and comsumption of larval food plant. Doesn't need to be a "grow light", any light source you can controll will work (all of mine were on timers). They are cold hardy, but temperature (and humidity) also are factors that regulate comsumption. So if you need to, for lack of enough viable host plant, you can slow them down with shorter PP and cooler temps until you can get enough plant. Changes should be made in steps, not all at once. While not as much so as some species, they are polyphagous feeders of sorts, to the point that the list is long what they have been known to use for larval food plants naturally and have successfully been reared on. Far too many for me to type at the moment. Getting them to use a plant not used by the parental stock they came from (so plants maybe not normally used naturally in their colony) can be a case by case thing until you find one they accept easily, but they are not all that hard to swicth over. Tyring several off the list all at once is a shortcut in finding what they prefer. While some may get a few indentifying nibbles, it will be appartent whatg they favor (if any of them). When you find what they will accept, cut a bunch, preserve it correctly and you'll not have too much trouble getting them through.
Post by hyalophora on Mar 19, 2012 10:24:02 GMT -8
Thanks for all the advise
I have put some regular house lamps above the containers on a timer for a 14 hour period, and that already has made quite a difference in larval growth. I did do a little experiment with my sleeved stock last season. Larva sleeved on plants in full sun matured almost a month earlier than those on plants in shade.
Regarding switching hostplants, I have found larvae on such a wide variety of hosts in the wild it is incredible. They take to speyeria without hesitation so I will use that again. last season I had adults that were as large as the parent stock, so it is working for them.