Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Apr 1, 2012 17:21:27 GMT -8
When I pulled it out of the freezer I discovered that I had something different. (it was fluttering too wildly to properly id before I put it in there) I haven't had a chance to do the research yet. I am too eager to get back down to the light. ;D
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Apr 1, 2012 18:33:12 GMT -8
Thanks for saving me the research time. A female possibly full of eggs? I fear it is too late to get her to lay. She has been in the freezer for an hour fortyfive and must be frozen solid by now. The thought of trying to breed them didn't cross my mind.
My set up is pretty simple. It is just a sheet from a bed lit by a self ballasted 160 watt mv light that I found on Amazon for less than $20 last year. I will take a photo of it when I go back down there after while. I guess it is still a bit early in the season to get much activity later into the night after the temp drops, but I still keep it going all night and keep a check on it until 3 or 4 most mornings.
Nice catch. The chance that she's already mated, or any female Saturniid that you get at your light is almost 100%. If she's not dead, there's a very good chance that she'll lay fertile eggs which usually hatch about 10 days after they are laid, and then the work of rearing the larvae begins. A lot of moths are surprisingly cold resistant, as long as you don't get them below freezing, they'll survive.
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Apr 1, 2012 22:07:04 GMT -8
Here is the photo of my set up. The second bulb is a regular incandescent bulb. I am not sure if it helps or not though. The stand for the lights is just an old halogen work lamp stand that the connector for the lights had broken off of. I realized that the sheet that I had found had a loop type hem on the top and bottom that I could slip the fiberglass rods that I salvaged from the trash at work through. It is certainly not the best set up, but for something I just cobbled together with what I had on hand, only spending money on the bulb, it isn't too bad. I am definitely no expert at this so I am sure there are ways to improve on it.
If I ever get on my feet financially, I hope to get a portable power source so I can go someplace other than my back yard with it.
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Apr 21, 2012 21:17:33 GMT -8
Well, this gal now has her own display case. (mostly finished) Unfortunately, I am still a bit clumsy with my lep spreading skills and she lost a few scales , but all in all I am pleased with it. I just set up my old desk as a pinning station so I hope having a better place to work will cause my skills to improve more quickly.
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Apr 21, 2012 21:21:26 GMT -8
Also, tonight I really did get my first polyphemus. ;D Actually, this is the first one I have ever seen in person. They are truly magnificent moths. I am sure that many of you see them and think, "ho, hum. Just another polyphemus." but for me this is a major find.
Polyphemus moths are actually pretty neat. One of them was my first Saturnid. I found its cocoon outside and brought it in the house. About a month later, it hatched inside my house and was hanging on my bookshelf!
Post by dertodesking on Apr 22, 2012 12:15:19 GMT -8
Well done on getting your first polyphemus - they are a very beautiful moth.
As a Brit I'm jealous of you guys over the pond having such great species flying in the wild...but thanks to the generosity of a few of my American friends I have a small series of these. Only six specimens but they're special to me as they were gifts from friends
"A casual stroll through a lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" (Fredrick Nietzsche)
I had a friend hatch out a female Polyphemus inside his house. When I told him it wouldn't live outside or find a mate he let me take her home. It is a bit early for Saturnids here in Wisconsin. I do have 1 Polyphemus coccoon waiting in my garage along with 39 Promethea coccoons. Hoping the Poly is a female to attract a mate and raise caterpillars this summer.
Where do you get 39 Promethia cocoons? I also live in WI and I have found a few cocoons but they all have been empty or parasitized. Did you raise them from eggs or actually find them? If so, what kind of tree were they on? I don't even have a male Promethia yet just a few females that I found on the sides of buildings.
Two winters ago I found about 20 coccoons on Black Cherry trees along the county roads in various spots. Of those 20 coccoons 5 hatched the following spring. I was lucky enough to have 2 pairs hatch about 1 week apart and 1 extra male a few days after that. The 2 females layed eggs at 3 different stages. I had over 60 caterpillars at one time and got 39 of them to the coccoon stage. My son is hoping we get more caterpillars this year so he can take some to our county fair for a 4H project this summer. I will post some pictures in the next day or 2 when I have a bit more time.
Post by beetlehorn on Apr 27, 2012 20:12:59 GMT -8
You may actually get another chance at rearing a Promethia, since the flight isn't over yet, and another brood is on the way in July. Both Promethias and Cecropia moths rear quite easily on wild cherry. I have reared several broods of both, and have lots of perfect A1 specimens from my rearing endeavors. I make my own rearing sleeves complete with a drawstring and zipper for easy access to my stock. Next time just take the female and put her into a paper bag like a lunch bag, close the top and let her oviposit. Then cut out each section or cluster of eggs and keep them in a plastic container away from direct sunlight. After ten days you'll get lots of little larvae that will grow quickly when placed on the foodplant. Rearing sleeves are in my opinion the best way to raise these moths, so place them in the sleeve and keep an eye out so they don't run out of food. The effort is worth it because you'll have many more perfect specimens, and you won't be disturbing the wild population.