tiny caterpillars

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kevinkk
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tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

Brahmaea wallichii larva after the first molt, feeding on Ligustrum japonica, they may not be much
to look at now, but wait a few weeks.
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Chuck
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by Chuck »

That's awesome! Hope you keep posting regular photos of the progression.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by bobw »

I've reared many species of Brahmaea and fortunately, they're pretty easy, but they do eat huge quantities when they get big! One thing that helps is that they're not very good at climbing, so when large, I just keep them in an uncoverered plastic dustbin, I collect armfuls of privet twice a day and throw that in. As long as the top of the privet is more than 3 inches or so below the top of the bin, they can't get out, and they eat so much that the privet's gone before it wilts, so you don't need to put it in water. You just need to clear out the frass and bare stems every couple of days.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

DSCN2170.JPG
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Update- The second molt.
I am thinking I realize why some breeders use bins and toss in leaves.
A lot of patience is required to move larva with a brush to new food plant.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by Chuck »

I always just put fresh leaves in, most of the larvae would migrate to the new material within a day- or hours.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

Chuck wrote: Mon Jan 08, 2024 7:46 pm I always just put fresh leaves in, most of the larvae would migrate to the new material within a day- or hours.
Yes, I did have to use that approach for a species that needed some help deciding on a food plant, I tossed in a variety for a week or
so, other than that, I like to use potted plants when possible or stick the branch ends in water, and admittingly, it's not always
necessary when using evergreens or when the larva are large.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

Most of the larva have molted a 3rd time, now the appendages are much larger and more of a shiny black. Nice we don't have those things on our
heads.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by bobw »

Don't worry, they'll lose them in the final instar.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

Yes. Such a variety of life. Fake looking animals on a fake looking plant. It would be a feat to burrow in the ground with those antennae.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by livingplanet3 »

kevinkk wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:57 pm Yes. Such a variety of life. Fake looking animals on a fake looking plant. It would be a feat to burrow in the ground with those antennae.
Speaking of real (but fake-looking) insects, weevils of the genus Eupholus (such as E. magnificus) come to mind :) -

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Image

Image

Image
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kevinkk
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

DSCN2190-1.jpg
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Nice beetles, I've always wanted to make a display mount with weevils.

We might as well have a new caterpillar picture- this one is a freshly molted wallichi larva, the blue color is transitory and only happens after
molting.

Seems like I always forget something. One interesting thing with the larva in L1 through L4, I am sure that they need to eat the shed skin right after molting, the L5 usually eat the skin as well, but the young larva suffer from poor or completely stopped development. Seems like I read this
somewhere, but where I don't know.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

L5.JPG
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L 5 .
About as big as they get.

There is an amazing color change just before they burrow in, I'll get to that later.
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Re: tiny caterpillars

Post by kevinkk »

pre-burrow.JPG
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The color change before they burrow in. It happens sometime during the night and they park f a few hours before wandering.
Digging in was a little problematic, they are picky and took some coaxing, but turn into pupa fairly quickly.
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