Category: caterpillar chemistry

hatshepsut9: nanonaturalist: tumblunni: nan…





Some of my io moths spun their cocoons a little too thick and have trouble emerging. Yesterday morning, I had to cut a poor moth out of his cocoon, and his wings were shriveled and he had lost most of his hair from rubbing against the cocoon.

So last night, when I heard scratching coming from another cocoon, I got involved right away. Amazing how fast they climb out after there’s an entrance! His wings were nice and fully expanded within ten minutes.

Then I went through and cut holes in every cocoon so I didn’t have any more stuck babies.

August 22, 2017

Oh gosh thats so good that you helped them out! I’m glad that people rearing moths can help them have such a higher rate of survival. You’re like a guardian angel!

Awwww thanks! Sometimes I kiss them before I set them free, even if they’re kinda stinky.

This is adorable but also hilarious that these dorks have evolved such a counterproductive behavior (especially one that would take them out of the gene pool before they could reproduce?) Like great job on the cocoon bro but you know you have to be able to get out later…?

“I know I can break out of this, I’m at the caterpillar gym 5 times a day”
“Dude you know your sick abs aren’t going to survive metamorphosis”
“Whatever nerd”

I recently learned that this is all my fault. It’s not that they spin their cocoons too tight, it’s that they got too dehydrated to excrete their silk-dissolving enzyme spit and got stuck. Normally, this isn’t a problem in the wild. But in an air-conditioned (aka dry) house, a responsible mothmom should regularly spray the cocoons with water. OOPS. But they, cutting the cocoons worked before I knew any better!

September 9, 2018