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Old 01-09-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
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It is interesting to find out how many moths don't eat as adults.
That is interesting. I had only heard of one (moth, or something else) that didn't eat as an adult, now I know there are others.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:28 PM   #12
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Here's a female promethea moth (Callosamia promethea; Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) that emerged from a cocoon...In a very short time, there were more than a dozen male promethea moths fluttering about on the other side of the screen, attracted by the pheromone(s)...
How beautiful. She looks "brand new"...amazing that the she is already emmitting pheremones--but, I guess there is not a minute to waste.

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... How long do moths of this sort...generally live after...emerging...?
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Usually something like a week to 10 days or so; basically long enough to find a mate, and then a suitable host plant for egg deposition. Their beauty certainly appears fleeting...
It is fleeting, but at least that is a bit longer than just a day.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:40 PM   #13
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Usually something like a week to 10 days or so; basically long enough to find a mate, and then a suitable host plant for egg deposition. Their beauty certainly appears fleeting...
Many butterflies and moths that do feed don't live much longer than that. I wonder why some species eat while others don't? What is the benefit of not eating? I know that right before the caterpillars pupate, they sort of 'throw up' their gut; does this create more room for eggs?
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:56 PM   #14
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Default Io moths

My class and I raised some Io moths two falls ago. A friend of mine gave me 14 caterpillars that had been feeding on black cherry. I gave 7 to another teacher friend and kept 7.

As tiny little cats, they were quite gregarious and stayed together with their siblings. Much different behavior than other caterpillars I have raised. The small instars were tan/yellow/brownish. As they molted, they changed colors and became green with some serious spines that were tipped with black. Very poisonous to the touch!

We had these caterpillars from late September well into early November. I was a nervous wreck as the black cherry trees all around were pretty much defoliated. There was one tree in my school parking lot that still had some viable leaves, thank goodness. One by one, the cats disappeared into the leaf little at the bottom of the cage. Five of the seven made their cocoons with old leaves wrapped around them! So cool!

I put the tray of dried leaves on the cold windowsill and spritzed it with water periodically. The kids pretty much stopped asking me about them and had almost forgotten until one spring day when one of them emerged! It was a wonderful sight! A very fat bodied male Io crawled up the side of the tulle cage. As he neared the top, he stopped and we watched as his abdomen undulated and his wings expanded. What a beautiful moth! Out of 7 caterpillars and 5 cocoons, we ended up with 3 moths, two females, one male.

Here are a couple pictures. I didn't think to take pictures of the cocoons in the leaf litter.
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Let's Showcase Moths!-dariel-io.jpg   Let's Showcase Moths!-io-may-11.jpg   Let's Showcase Moths!-male-io-may-20.jpg  
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:09 PM   #15
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Default Io caterpillars

Here are some pictures of the Io caterpillars. Very pretty critters! Notice in photo 2 the smaller, brown instar. He never kept up in size to his siblings and ended up dying. I had another die early on, too.
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Let's Showcase Moths!-io-cat-closeup.jpg   Let's Showcase Moths!-io-cats-better.jpg   Let's Showcase Moths!-io-early-instars.jpg  
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:30 PM   #16
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Great pictures of the Io moths--seeing the one that just emerged amazes me. It is so cool to see how bit their wings get when they are finally oustretched.

I think I shared this here already, but this reminds me of it again. As a kid of about 12-14, I think, I found a cocoon, kept it for weeks until I saw it starting to out. When it came out it looked like a wasp--and that is what I thought it was...I thought the wasp had been a parasite that ate the moth inside the cocoon. Then after I released it, it began to unfold its wings and dry out. It was a moth and not a butterfly...that is when I learned about the differences in their antennae. This one had the feather-like kind.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:26 PM   #17
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Great pictures of the Io moths--seeing the one that just emerged amazes me. It is so cool to see how big their wings get when they are finally outstretched.
Seeing a monarch eclose is rather amazing, too. Their wings are teenie-tiny when they first come out of the chrysalis!

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I think I shared this here already, but this reminds me of it again. As a kid of about 12-14, I think, I found a cocoon, kept it for weeks until I saw it starting to out. When it came out it looked like a wasp--and that is what I thought it was...I thought the wasp had been a parasite that ate the moth inside the cocoon. Then after I released it, it began to unfold its wings and dry out. It was a moth and not a butterfly...that is when I learned about the differences in their antennae. This one had the feather-like kind.
I don't remember this story, but it certainly is a good one! I am glad you didn't decide to kill the so-called 'parasite'!
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:40 PM   #18
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Here are some pictures of the Io caterpillars. Very pretty critters! Notice in photo 2 the smaller, brown instar. He never kept up in size to his siblings and ended up dying. I had another die early on, too.
They sure are wild looking! Cool. That first photo is amazing.

Sorry to hear you lost some.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:42 PM   #19
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I don't remember this story, but it certainly is a good one! I am glad you didn't decide to kill the so-called 'parasite'!
Funny you say that, because, after typing the story, I thought the same thing. I kind of think it crossed my mind, but I really don't like to kill anything.

I'd have felt terrible if, later on I found out that is what they look like when the eclose!
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:22 AM   #20
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I caught all three of these in West Jefferson, Ohio in July 2012. The insects were in a clear plastic container when the pics were taken (you might notice a reflection so that is why).

The first is a male regal. He took some work. He was way up on a metal light pole. I was REALLY hoping to catch a female so that is why I put in the effort to catch this moth. Pulled my car up next to the pole. Stood on my car and repeatedly slid my longest butterfly net up the pole. Eventually knocked the moth loose and he floated to the pavement. Big moths like these normally will not fly unless they just landed or they have warmed up their flight muscles by vibrating for a while.

The second is an imperial. I don't remember if it was male or female. I did catch a gravid female there last summer.

The third pic is no moth but I thought I'd throw it in because my kids were real excited about it. It is a female dobsonfly. Wish I had a coin next to it so you could tell that it is BIG. I can speak from personal experience that a female dobsonfly's mandibles are not to be messed with. The male looks much more fearsome because his mandibles are very large but they cannot hurt you. I tested that fact years ago and the poor male ending up snapping his mandible when he bit me.
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Let's Showcase Moths!-img_6895a.jpg   Let's Showcase Moths!-img_6898a.jpg   Let's Showcase Moths!-img_6899a.jpg  
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bear mountain catskills, caterpillar, cecropia, chrysalis, gravid, isabella moth, moth, moths, pandora sphinx, polyphemus, regal, showcase, soybean looper

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