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.