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kevinkk
Premium Member - 2022
Premium Member - 2022
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 5:06 pm
Location: Oregon
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never a dull moment

Post by kevinkk »

Maybe this post should be in Lepidoptera, but that Speyeria post is going so well.

There is always something new to learn, this season I had some rearing experiences that might as well be shared, there's some information
to be gleaned, what it is exactly, I'm not sure.

Rhodinia verecunda the first brood of the season, hard to get started eating, I did something I've never done before, put the hatchlings
in a plastic box, and tossed in everything that was green at the time, being March. 6 larva took to ceanothus victoriae, the remaining 12
or so landed on Lilac, so far, so good. Rhodinia grow slowly, and that is an understatement, even indoors, they just sat around on the branches,
sometimes I'd see them eat, but mostly they sat there looking cute. The larva eating ceanothus, which is only documented for fugax as far as I know,
matured and spun up in nice bright green cocoons after nearly 3 months, the larva eating lilac were much different, they grew much slower, and
at very disparate rates. Sometime in June, I got tired of having them in the house and needed the cage for other species, as summer was around
the corner, so- the lilac bush I had indoors went outside into the greenhouse and I wrapped it up with some window screen, taped up the bottom,
and tied the top. Along comes August..and I start wondering, what ever happened with those verecunda on that suboptimal food plant.
3 larva were still munching away, all that survived, I brought them back in and finished 2 on cut lilac, with the 3rd expiring, apparently of old
age.
So, the whole point is that Syringa vulgaris bites as a food plant for Rhodinia verecunda, even though 2/3 of the hatchlings gravitated to it,
I found it interesting. Never did hear the larva squeak either.

Acherontia atropos, possibly one of the most famous moths, at least in the movies. I fed them potato, no problem, except they ate a lot,
and a couple of the potato planters I had started wimped out and were munched down in hours. So- great, what is probably a once in my
lifetime opportunity to raise this species and I'm out of potato, ok, so they accept a lot of other food plants, my tomatoes are gangbusters,
so they can take anything these L5 have got left, they wouldn't touch anything I gave them, I know sometimes it's hard to switch midstream,
but I need to figure out something. The olive tree...my expensive slow growing beautiful olive tree, ok, so maybe it's a looking a little wild
and could stand a trim, all the larva still eating took the olive, not the tomato, which is related to potato, and can be grafted together,
but the olive, they all finished up before decimating my tree, and at the same sizes as the ones that matured on potato.
So- the lesson here, never say die ala Rasputin..

Always something to be learned, like one of my famous work quotes " we don't need to worry about anything, except the unexpected, which we should expect"
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