Here’s a picture of my latest house guests:
Last month, a presenter we had at the library brought in some cecropia moths she has been rearing. They had mated and the female laid eggs all over the cage. The woman insisted I take some eggs home with me (I think she just wanted to thin out the herd…).
So, I now have a cage full of these caterpillars. As I was changing their branch today, I noticed that two of them are now starting to look very colorful like the late instar. I can’t wait until they are bigger. Although…where I will put them then is anyone’s guess. (Linda, I think I have a present for you…)
A number of them have bit the dust, as I expected a few would. Still, that leaves me with around 30. I have been raising them on lilac, so I’m not sure they will change food sources this late in the game. Frankly, I don’t know a thing about them. There is a great site here with some photos and info, but other sites usually say something like, “look in the guide book to determine food source plants.”
Eventually, i will need to either free them outside so they can pupate or find a really big cage for them to make their cocoons in and then stick it out in the garage for the winter. I think I’ll at least keep one or two (assuming I can get them this far) so I can see them emerge next year. The moths are so big and beautiful!