Has anybody in this forum collected the dark (melanistic) form of A. polyphemus? I've seen pictures of them, but I don't know where they were collected or how rare they are. I'm not talking about A. oculea. The melanistic form of polyphemus looks different. The tan background color is completely absent, replaced by a darkish gray.
I have never encountered such a thing either in all my life.
However, I know some experimentation has occurred amongst some breeders to achieve much darker (almost black) examples; as Billg has posted a photo or two in the past of such efforts.
But, in terms of strictly natural finds I know of nothing out of the usual parameters of basic color variances in A. polyphemus
I suppose Leroy (leptraps) would have the defining word in this matter as he has no less encountered the species everywhere he has ever lived. He has also always been an avid cocoon "hunter" and has had hundreds I'm sure eclose.
He probably also has 3 or 4 drawers worth of keepers from his many years of experience. .
Well......after breeding this natural hybrid a few years back, this is my result for these neat moths. How they were bred, who provided the original stock, and.....the rest of the story including the genetics can be found at Bill O.s moth site on the A. polyphemus page. Sadly.....the strain has been lost to disease two years ago. This particular drawer of polys has both the black forms, the natural hybrids leading to the black form, and my once-in-a-lifetime catch of a poly gynandromorph. This is one of several 2’x2’ special drawers of polys. I kinda love the species
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2021 8:56:13 GMT -8 by billgarthe