- Jul 29, 2016
Not sure which it will be, but it's already got a good place to become fabulous!If the hornworm was kept in warm conditions with long day periods, it should eclose as a moth around 3 weeks after pupation. If you kept it in cooler conditions with short day periods, it may decide to diapause--it could go weeks to months without development, waiting for seasonal cues.
Thanks. It's in a netted enclosure in the living room.I take care of a colony of Manduca sexta for a lab, and it's pretty neat watching the adults hover to feed and lay eggs. They're pretty good at avoiding obstacles if they can see them. Just keep them somewhere well-ventilated or easy to clean up--don't keep the moths inside bedrooms, for example. They're pretty loaded with scales and those can quickly become a health hazard if you breathe them in too frequently. It's not uncommon for people to develop allergic reactions to moth scales with repeated exposure! The scales will naturally fall off and get scraped away as the moths fly around and as they quickly senesce.
I appreciate you sharing that. I'll alter the habitat to keep the scales in. But what do you do for ventilation? If you have a photo, that would be fantastic.We have to keep the adult moths in a cage within a fume hood in order to prevent the scales from getting everywhere and becoming an issue. It's amazing the volume of scales they produce once they're no longer attached and flattened on the moths. Imagine a cattail and how it disperses its seeds and you might get an idea of how quickly the scales make a mess!
Thanks! I have put some cling wrap around its enclosure to try to get most of the scales to just fall downward. (Hopefully) and we'll obsessively vacuum for a while too. Would you mind to confirm for me whether they are short lived as adults? Thanks for your help!Fortunately it's not a huge concern when it's just one moth, but the dust doesn't really go anywhere unless you clean it up, so it'll stay around unless you're vacuuming with special attention to dust reservoirs such as fabric surfaces. The fact that it doesn't degrade on its own guarantees repeated exposure and the risk of developing allergies towards scale moths and the chitin found in insect exoskeletons in general. It's definitely an irritant if you get it in your eyes and respiratory system like any fine particulate. The fume hood isn't necessary in your case since there's not a high scale load, but it's an absolute necessity when the lab colony has as many as fifty or more moths at a time.