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Glue gun for silkmoth cocoons?

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by bugmankeith, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. bugmankeith

    bugmankeith Arachnoking Old Timer

    I have a Luna cocoon that fell off a branch. I would like to use a glue gun to attach it to a new branch, is this safe?
  2. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    I'd be worried about the glue being too hot and injuring the pupa. When I've had to rehang cocoons, I usually just use a sewing pin and try to catch a bit of loose silk or whatever is left of the cremaster (for butterflies).
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  3. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    If it is anything like the silkworm moths here, Bombyx mori, handle as gently as possible, preferably with gloves, use a tiny amount of low temp melt glue and assure it will be in place where it won't get bumped or moist. Bombyx are extremely susceptible to fungus so similar precautions for other cocoons wouldn't hurt.
    Just enough low temp glue to suspend the cocoon wouldn't have enough heat to penetrate to the larvae.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  4. Reattaching it to a branch is totally unnecessary, as most if not all silkmoths are quite capable of emerging from their cocoon from the ground, even the ones that always spin hanging from trees.

    If you found the cocoon in the wild, the fact that it was attached to a branch at all leads me to conclude that it isn't a luna moth at all. Luna moth caterpillars spin their cocoons on the ground. It's more likely to be a polyphemus moth cocoon, which are similar in shape but often loosely attached to branches.
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  5. If you must hang it, I’d opt for contact cement. A dab on the cocoon, a dab on the branch, let them both dry for 30 minutes, then stick them together.
  6. bugmankeith

    bugmankeith Arachnoking Old Timer

    This is a Luna for sure, it had very few silk threads on the twig but was hanging. I did some reading and you are right, most pupate on the ground; this one must of been the exception. I never knew this I learned something Do I just place it under a tree? How do predators not find and eat them on the ground or get waterlogged when it rains?
  7. What characters make you think it's a luna cocoon? Luna and polyphemus are almost identical apart from differences in the silk color/texture which can be obscured by leaves. Could you take a picture?

    The cocoons don't get waterlogged because the silk repels water, and they're just adapted to being on the ground and occasional excess moisture doesn't affect them.

    Predators do find and eat them on the ground, but a tree seems even more dangerous to me. Among fallen leaves they're well hidden but hanging from a tree makes cocoons an easy target for birds.
  8. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoking Active Member

    You could use a glue gun with no probelm, just make sure to not get it on the actual cocoon but on the leaf surrounding the cocoon. Safety pins work great too! I use them more than the glue gun.
  9. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Arachnosquire

    I really wouldn't use a glue gun, they're very hot.
    I suspect if you had a wider branch, you could kinda just set it on top of the branch. But, no, they don't need to be hung. In fact, I wasn't aware they were hung from trees at all. I had some luna moth cocoons that I got online and hatched, and I just set them in the bottom of the butterfly house. They were fine down there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. NathanJBoob

    NathanJBoob Arachnosquire

    I use a low temp hot glue gun all the time for cocoons. I attach cecropia to sections of cord for overwintering and emerging using a glue gun and have had no problems. You definitely would not want the hot glue touching a bare pupae though, like if the cocoon is ruptured exposing the pupae.

    If it is Luna cocoon or a Polyphemus then it can just be laid on the ground or better yet inside a screen cage on the bottom. Once it emerges, release it after dark.
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  11. I leave cecropia and promethea cocoons on the bottom of screen cages and they also emerge fine (although the screen cages are usually hanging above the ground, so they're exposed to the same conditions as if they'd been hanging).
  12. NathanJBoob

    NathanJBoob Arachnosquire

    Yes they will emerge fine, but I prefer to orient them the way the larvae spin them. Sometimes they will scratch their wings crawling around and after they've expanded they'll have less than perfect wings. I also have hundreds of cocoons in my emerging cages so I can't have them crawling all over each other on days when 50 or more adults are emerging all at once. They would shred each others wings and cause a big mess. I use florist's wire to string up promethea by their peduncle so no glue is needed for them.
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