Eri moths hatching

My Eri moths FINALLY started hatching today!

So far, nine moths, with six females, three males.

Needless to say, I’m anticipating a LOT of eggs – still have about 100 more cocoons to hatch over the next week to two weeks.

This is a photo of the hatching setup; they are in 58-quart Sterilite tubs, with paper towels draped over the sides for them to climb up. I keep the lids on them when I’m not there to watch them. They typically won’t fly until nightfall, if at all – the females almost never fly. It wouldn’t stop them from becoming excellent cat toys, however.

There’s a male on the far right, and three females. You can tell because the females have larger abdomens, and their wings often don’t completely expand. This is because they’ve been bred for silk for so many years.

Here is a male moth from the blue strain fed on ailanthus (below), compared to a (dried) male moth from the same strain fed on privet. The ailanthus moth is almost a half-inch wider across the wingtips.

This shows the coloring better. The colors are very rich, and don’t show up well in many of the other photos.

17 replies
  1. colubra
    colubra says:

    I specifically went to peek at your journal because I’ve been re-reading Perdido Street Station, and figured moths would be a good thing to look at…
    …and wow, these are beautiful beasties.

  2. kennydoug
    kennydoug says:

    by the way… great to see you the other nite at LSOH. how exactly you recognized me from so far away is still a bit astounding.

    just got back from my pre-birthday party party. if you see me out anytime, say hi!

  3. admin
    admin says:

    Hey! It was good to meet you in person. I had seen you earlier in the auditorium, and put two and two together – so in the lobby, I knew it was you.

    When’s your birthday? I’m doing a pre-birthday-party on the fifth; mine’s on the seventh.

  4. admin
    admin says:

    Leaves. LOTS of leaves. They will eat four kinds of plant available here in the US: ailanthus, castor, ligustrum, and lilac. These were fed on ailanthus.

  5. admin
    admin says:

    Unrelated species. There is a wild species similar to this that is native to parts of China and India; this is a domesticated type from India.

    The smuggled-out kind are the Bombyx silkmoths. Check out my site: http://www.wormspit.com for lots more than you ever wanted to know!

  6. spiderfarmer
    spiderfarmer says:

    Perdido Street Station is a novel by China Miéville, here’s a quick review of the book. It’s really a brilliant read. I’m currently reading The Scar, which is set in the same universe.

    He’s an astounding writer, I recommend the book…although, you may look at your moths a little differently afters. 😉

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