Rearing a Polyphemus Moth

P.jasonius

Arachnobaron
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Nov 19, 2006
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Hello all,
I found something outside the door today: a giant silkmoth, 5.5" wingspan. I put it in a shoebox before I left and found eggs inside when I came back.
I'm going to try and rear these when they hatch, anyone have any experience with this?
Googlers need not advise me on this, I have a search engine. I want experience, please.
Will post pics soon.
[edit]23eggs total. I don't know if this is a good batch or not!
 
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bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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I raised one of them, it ate oak leaves, then spun a giant cocoon with the leaves, the cocoon was so tough you cant open it to see the pupa inside.

Only trouble was being inside it hatched in the middle of winter and died.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Yea, they are easy and fast growing. I have the moths locally but I couldn't find any one year so I finally ordered some cocoons and put them in the fridge since it was still Winter. In the Spring they hatched, got eggs. They hatched. I put the cats in a 10 gal with gravel in the bottom. I filled the bottom with water but not above the gravel in case the cats got off the braches. That brings me to "branches". So I'd go cut branches off oak trees in my backyard and stick them in the gravel. It was like the cats knew I was bringing them new branches when I pulled the old ones out. It was almost like they learned they were getting new branches, haha, I'm sure it was just my imagination. They grow fast and you will need to keep up with it every day or two if you keep more than 10 cats.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Awesome! I like the dinosaur cats just as much or better. I checked the terr I had them in. It's only a little bigger, a 15 gal. It's a preference of mine to only keep 10 at a time because of space and maintenance like getting fresh leaves, and they create a lot of waste, that's for sure. They eat fast and eat allot.

I tried keeping the rest of the cats outside on a small tree where I could see them but parasitic flies got to every one of those. I bought the protective cloth to put around branches to keep the flies out but I haven't had the cats since I bought that stuff.
 

P.jasonius

Arachnobaron
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I just let my cats roam around the apartment, sometimes they go out on the balcony, though.:D They definitely create alot of waste!
27 eggs now.
 
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Scolopendra55

Arachnoprince
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Keep them at room temp (about 75) and feed them oak, LOTS AND LOTS OF OAK!!!!!
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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At the time I didnt know they needed to be kept cold to prevent hatching in the winter, I was only 11 at the time. But I know know.

They are gorgeous looking moths and if one flys by you at night suddenly you can get quite the scare!
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Cool. If it hasn't mated, you can do the "cage" thing and put it on your balcony. It should attract a mate at night. With that many eggs, you are going to have to stuff an Oak tree in your apt:) . They eat so much.
 
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P.jasonius

Arachnobaron
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One step ahead of you. I put it in the cage on the balcony before I left for school this morning, and found eggs all over the wire when I got home, 28 more eggs.
I'm a bit concerned about lead leaching into the eggs, and want to remove them from the cage material, as I think it is a lead-tin alloy. I suppose I'll attempt to remove them with a razor blade, any other suggestions. I don't know how tough these are.
This specimen isn't as tore up as the last, so expect more photos shortly.
[edit]update: she was starting to tear herself up in the cage while laying more and more eggs, so I released her.
Between the two different females I now have ~110 eggs.
I was able to gently pry them from the cage wire without doing any noticeable damage, so no need to respond to this post, unless you just want to tell me a better way I could have done it.
 
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Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Man that's a lot of eggs! I just popped them off the wire cage too. That natural glue is pretty strong stuff isn't it... I think you might end up thinning them out after they hatch when you get an idea of how much they eat once they get a little bigger, just a hunch because of all the caterpillar pigging out they do. What did you decide to put them in, a big tub?
 

P.jasonius

Arachnobaron
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Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to get rid of some :rolleyes: .
I'm planning on making a frame this weekend for a screen cage. I already have the screen from some discarded window screens I found at my storage.
 

P.jasonius

Arachnobaron
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I like projects.
pm me if you want eggs!
 
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Spyder 1.0

Arachnoprince
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damnit, i was shipped a few eggs, but on the way they hatched and dried up. there are two eggs left. i hope they are fertile. eveything is in an incubator now :(
 
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