Wings of Love

It must have been the moonlight. Either that, or this one moth has some amazingly powerful hoo-hoo juice…

I’ve had good luck with my polyphemus females finding mates. I put them out in the front yard, hanging from a tree branch in the little tent, and I wake up early, like six, and there’s usually a male fluttering around the tent. Once, there were even two! Tonight, there were six. In the light of the full moon, it was like being surrounded by bats – they’re HUGE, a couple of these have to be six-inchers. I caught them, one after another, and popped them into the tent.

This old man has clearly had a rough time of it. He was flopping on the ground – and when I saw him, I realized why. Another of the males had seen him, and in his pheremone-maddened state, was vigorously attempting to breed with him.

It actually was tough to tell at first that the pairing had taken place. There was a throng of wings on top of the one female. Fortunately, after careful sorting, I was able to determine that one was actually attached.

This handsome cinnamon fellow was one of the unfortunates who didn’t make the cut.

I love the variety of their wild colors. The cinnamon with all the pink highlights is my favorite, but they also come in tan, chocolate, buff… all this beautiful rainbow of browns. I turned them loose outside after determining that she was well and truly knocked up.

16 replies
  1. moon8sky
    moon8sky says:

    What a good Father you all, making sure you girl is all nice and knocked up before letting her boyfriends go outside to go get some more tail… er wing….LOL

  2. hugh_mannity
    hugh_mannity says:

    MMmmmmmmmmm……. Moth Pr0n….

    Are these from the same batch that you sent me? If so I’d better get hold of my friend and warn him of the impending orgy.

  3. admin
    admin says:

    LOL. I’m not sure if they’re both parents in common, but they are at least cousins. :: cuing bawm-chicka-bawm-bawm music ::

  4. admin
    admin says:

    They’re hooked up abdomen-to-abdomen. I suppose “occupied” would be a more accurate term – although I haven’t actually seen a moth-mating fail to “take” in the way that other species will. They have such a short lifespan, I think their fertility is a little over-driven.

  5. webwawa
    webwawa says:

    help!

    i am going out of town tomorrow morning…

    you know how my caterpillar escaped and made a cocoon on the wall? (I think the kitties picked it up then it got mad and released it’s scent/horns and they dropped it and ran away and the poor thing made it up the wall.. i feel so bad he didn’t get to eat at the last moment before he metarphosed, but the cocoon looks really healthy)

    anyway… I need to take it off the wall tonight and take a needle and thread and hang him from a plant outside… where do I poke the needle through so he doesn’t get hurt? I need him to stay upright, i’m usually good at things like this but looking at the cocoon it looks like every part is so vital, maybe I could tie something around him but then he couldn’t push/flex as well when he pops off the top.. hmmm..

    Thanks!
    -=wawa=-

  6. admin
    admin says:

    Re: help!

    You should be able to either pin or sew through the cremaster – the “tip-toes” end of the cocoon, down at the bottom. You will want to make sure you give him a little harness to keep him upright, since you’ll have to take off the one he’s got attached to the wall. Should be able to just run a piece of thread around his “waist” where the ties are now.

    I find that with my Fritillaries, they often just wander off the food plant when it’s time to pupate – I’ll find them all over that corner of the house and the deck roof. I know that several of the moths do that too.

  7. webwawa
    webwawa says:

    Re: help!

    oh ok
    so a combination of both things I was thinking of
    i will try tonight
    i feel so bad plucking his little anchors off the wall
    i was hoping he would hatch one morning while i’m there so i can carry him outside… but no luck yet. he has the prettiest chrysalis – so alien and green with yellow bumps. funny how brown and lifeless they are as soon as they leave.

    -=wawa=-

  8. admin
    admin says:

    Re: help!

    I always enjoy looking at all the fancy chrysalises – they look so amazing! What realistic purpose do metallic gold beads serve? Did they put them in there just for pretty?

    And yea, cremaster sounds like something you’d make desserts with. Or, some kind of sex toy.

  9. kosseferal
    kosseferal says:

    So far, no orgy, J

    Just one female and the rest (3) have been males. I let two of them go and kept one to see if they’d breed. They did, because she laid eggs inside the cage, on the sticks I put in there for perches. Said eggs now reposing comfortably in the little blue case you brought the cocoons in.

    I keep hoping for more females but so far, zip.
    maybe tomorrow…

  10. admin
    admin says:

    Re: So far, no orgy, J

    Siblings typically won’t inbreed; if she laid eggs, but you never saw them hooked tail-to-tail (for a whole day, most times) then the eggs are likely to be duds. After being unfertilized for a few nights, the female will start dumping eggs out of desparation.

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