Category: imperial moth

caterpillar-gifs:

Imperial moth caterpillar, now 4th instar! One more molt to go before pupation!

October 20, 2019

Still alive, still unemployed, still raising giant chonking caterpillars. Got 40 of these spiny sausages.

Save me

Also, hire me dammit

October 21, 2019

bowelflies:

avariea:

SO i just saved a imperial moth from the middle of a 4 lane road. I brought her home to put her behind my house when i realized that she was ACTIVELY LAYING DOZENS OF EGGS!!! 

I would love to take care of these little eggs as a way to teach my daughter more about the local fauna but i have NO idea how to take care of these little buds…

PLEASE HELP Q__Q

paging @nanonaturalist

It’s that time of year, when the Saturniids start laying eggs all over the side of your house… I’ve got one of these asks in my inbox I need to get to (although I think it’s about the same moth so hey!)

First off, ASAP you need to remove the eggs (or if the lady is still around, put her in a paper bag to get eggs on something easier to deal with). The eggs are glued on with special moth resin, but eggs can be gently pried off fairly easily. I pick them off with my hands because it’s easiest to not squish them like it would be with tools.

Second, you need to locate a nearby host plant. Saturniids are usually pretty easy, especially because so many people raise them and document what they eat. The bugguide page for imperial moth has an example list of trees they munch leaves from [link]. Just giving leaves isn’t good enough, you need to give fresh leaves. Keep them from drying out somehow. Newly hatched caterpillars can be kept in small containers with lids (don’t poke holes! They have enough air and keeping in moisture is your goal!). But clean out containers daily, make sure mold doesn’t grow, give fresh leaves, etc.

Larger caterpillars will eat entire branches full of leaves bare before they can dry out, and I will keep these in pop-up laundry hampers (which they will also make cocoons in and emerge from as moths). When your caterpillars get larger than your thumb and you have an armful of them, you run out of aquarium space and have to get creative! If you have a host plant in your yard, you can sleeve: put the caterpillars on the plant, then cover the branch in a netting that birds and predators can’t penetrate (remember parasitic wasps are tiny!). All you need to do is make sure there’s enough food in the netting for them, and move it around for them as needed.

One thing to keep in mind, if you are raising indoors: air conditioning dried out the air significantly. Your eggs and caterpillars might need to get misted with water to stay hydrated.

Lots of people raise moths and butterflies. If there’s a garden club in your area, chances are there are butterfly and moth people there who can give you pointers.

Good luck!!

June 17, 2019

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

Adventures in Giant Caterpillars

Earlier today, I posted this ask from @witchyfishyfun [link] about a wandering prepupal Imperial Moth caterpillar. Well. Guess what?

We staged a secretive handover in a parking lot off an interstate.

LOOOOOK!!!!!

I was right about baby being prepupal, he had turned PINK! by the time I picked him up! For whatever reason, many caterpillars tend to turn pink before pupating.

I love him!!!

Okay, enough nonsense, let’s let him pupate already. I gave him the Bowl o’ Dirt with Leaf Garnish, snapped the lid on, and put him in the nice, cool, dark garage.

GOOD LUCK BABY!!!

November 8, 2018

I took a peek!

Bowl o’ Dirt with Leaf Garnish, but hmmmmmmmm where is the baby???

Leaf Garnish removed. Hard to see in this photo, but there is a large bump where SOMEBODY may have burrowed underground.

This is the bottom of the clear plastic bowl. I can see a cavity with a green friend inside. He could be in diapause (hibernation) as a prepupa, and he’ll pupate when the weather changes a bit more. The pupae are almost always a dark brown, the green color would only be present in a VERY fresh pupa.

We’ll just have to wait a little longer and see!

November 21, 2018

reposting Dec 10, 2018 … originally marked as explicit…

nanonaturalist:

Adventures in Giant Caterpillars

Earlier today, I posted this ask from @witchyfishyfun [link] about a wandering prepupal Imperial Moth caterpillar. Well. Guess what?

We staged a secretive handover in a parking lot off an interstate.

LOOOOOK!!!!!

I was right about baby being prepupal, he had turned PINK! by the time I picked him up! For whatever reason, many caterpillars tend to turn pink before pupating.

I love him!!!

Okay, enough nonsense, let’s let him pupate already. I gave him the Bowl o’ Dirt with Leaf Garnish, snapped the lid on, and put him in the nice, cool, dark garage.

GOOD LUCK BABY!!!

November 8, 2018

I took a peek!

Bowl o’ Dirt with Leaf Garnish, but hmmmmmmmm where is the baby???

Leaf Garnish removed. Hard to see in this photo, but there is a large bump where SOMEBODY may have burrowed underground.

This is the bottom of the clear plastic bowl. I can see a cavity with a green friend inside. He could be in diapause (hibernation) as a prepupa, and he’ll pupate when the weather changes a bit more. The pupae are almost always a dark brown, the green color would only be present in a VERY fresh pupa.

We’ll just have to wait a little longer and see!

November 21, 2018

Adventures in Giant Caterpillars

Earlier today, I posted this ask from @witchyfishyfun [link] about a wandering prepupal Imperial Moth caterpillar. Well. Guess what?

We staged a secretive handover in a parking lot off an interstate.

LOOOOOK!!!!!

I was right about baby being prepupal, he had turned PINK! by the time I picked him up! For whatever reason, many caterpillars tend to turn pink before pupating.

I love him!!!

Okay, enough nonsense, let’s let him pupate already. I gave him the Bowl o’ Dirt with Leaf Garnish, snapped the lid on, and put him in the nice, cool, dark garage.

GOOD LUCK BABY!!!

November 8, 2018

Imperial Moth Larvae?

image

@witchyfishyfun submitted:

He just wandered into where I work, I was wearing gloves when I handled him since I wasn’t sure whether or not he was venomous but I wanted to move him somewhere out of foot traffic.

I would love to help him stay safe but I don’t know what to feed him or what he needs.

This babe is a prepupal Imperial Moth caterpillar and needs a dark place to cuddle up in and pupate. He’s not going to eat anything at this point. They are typically a darker/brighter color, but when they are getting ready to pupate, they lose much of their fantastic color and texture. At this stage of their lives, the structures of the pupa are starting to develop inside of them, so they get kinda weird and sausage-y.

Imperial Moths are Saturniids like Io Moths and Polyphemus Moths, but unlike those species, they will burrow underground and pupate in the soil like Sphinx moths do. If you give this baby a nice cozy place to pupate, you can see him when he comes out as an adult:

November 8, 2018

caterpillar-gifs:

Imperial Moth caterpillar

Check out this squishy baby I met today! Gif above, non-gifs below:

This is an Imperial Moth caterpillar! They grow up into these:

Beautiful!

The caterpillars were brought in for show and tell at the Austin Butterfly Forum meeting tonight. So happy I got to meet them! The adult stopped by my house for a visit a month or so ago.

October 22, 2018