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Favourite time of the year

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by Camman1983, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

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    IMG_4168.JPG IMG_4169.JPG Finally!! I get to look forward to these guys hatching out. Found my first of the new arrivals (they should come thick and fast over the next few weeks) then I have to wait another year
     
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  2. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoangel Active Member

    These are absolutely stunning!
     
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  3. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

    IMG_4178.JPG IMG_4177.JPG IMG_4176.JPG IMG_4172.JPG IMG_4171.JPG Better not leave out our other Xmas specials. Commonly known as Xmas beetles, Rhinoceros beetles and the noisy cicadas - sort of get left behind with my excitement of the months but worth a look.
     
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  4. Salmonsaladsandwich

    Salmonsaladsandwich Arachnoknight Active Member

    Have you ever considered rearing the hercules moths? If they're anything like other saturniids it should be easy to collect the eggs from females and grow the caterpillars.
     
  5. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

    Definitely considered it. I've seen places that do it but they have huge enclosures dedicated to it.
     
  6. Salmonsaladsandwich

    Salmonsaladsandwich Arachnoknight Active Member

    You don't even need an enclosure to raise saturniid caterpillars. As long as you keep them supplied with fresh leafy branches they don't typically wander from their food. I keep my caterpillars in open bins without lids, the bin is mostly just to catch the frass.
     
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  7. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

  8. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

    IMG_4161.JPG IMG_4160.JPG Also this guy I think it's a male as well
     
  9. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

    I might do my homework and look into growing some out. I would love an army of giant moths hatching out and flying away every Xmas. I wonder how easy the food source plants are to grow (I imagine those huge caterpillars have a big appetite). I'm thinking an old outdoor bird Avery might make a suitable enclosures to keep predators out (and cheap to aquire) - do you keep your bins indoors? Any issues with birds eating your caterpillars?
     
  10. Salmonsaladsandwich

    Salmonsaladsandwich Arachnoknight Active Member

    Yeah, I keep the bins indoors. Outdoors they would be eaten by birds and other predators within days.

    I also sometimes use a rearing technique called sleeving, which is where you put the caterpillars on a tree and securely cover the branch or entire tree with a large cloth or mesh bag to exclude predators and parasites. A bird aviary sounds good, but it would probably have to be covered with fine mesh or mosquito netting to keep out parasitic wasps and flies.

    That male Extatosoma is beautiful btw. Must be a different population from the ones we have in captivity over here, his legs aren't quite shaped the same.
     
  11. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire

    Probly an endemic sub species like most things found around my area. I've been trying to track down an entomologist in my area to pick their brain. (I've found experts on fish, freshwater crustaceans, frogs and birds so far.)
     
  12. Camman1983

    Camman1983 Arachnosquire