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jrcagle(z7 MD)June 7, 2014

Hi friends,

I found these on Spicebush Lindera recently. They're clearly not Spicebush Swallowtails.

Any ideas? I'd like to have a pupation plan in case they are moths...


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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

At first glance, they look like grape leaf skeletonizers, but they aren't eating the right plant.

Promethea moths eat spicebush. Here's a picture I made of an early instar promethea cat -

You think maybe they're promethea moth cats?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:06PM
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jrcagle(z7 MD)

Bingo! Thanks!

Now ... I have to learn how to get them to adulthood.


PS: How are you?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:25PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Try reading through this for instructions on rearing moths.

Here is a link that might be useful: HOW TO REAR SATURNIID MOTHS (giant silk moths)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:34PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I'm doing fine, Jeff - it's good to see you posting and finding caterpillars again!

I just raise my moths the same way I do butterflies. I put the host plant food in holes in leftovers containers with water and replace the food and clean the cage as needed. Since promethea moth cocoons hang on a peduncle (I think that's what it's called) you might want to keep extra sticks in the cage in case they prefer to make the cocoon in the natural style.

Good luck!



Spicebush swallowtails eat spicebush and sassafras leaves interchangeably, like they don't know the difference. I assume prometheas will probably do the same, so if you run out of spicebush leaves, I'm sure you can feed them sassafras.

This post was edited by misssherry on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 10:30

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:28AM
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jrcagle(z7 MD)

Happy Cats! I took in 10. One perished. One is behind the others in instar. The rest look like this.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 9:32AM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

So cool! Hope I can get as lucky here. Thanks for posting new pics!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 9:58AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

They look very healthy!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:27PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Holy cannoli Jeff! If I found those guys on my Spicebush, the whole neighborhood would also be aware due to my screams of joy!!!! Wow, what a wonderful find. Lucky you. Congrats and good luck with them. Keep us posted. I already checked both of my Spicebushes this morning, and now you have me itching to check again already!~~Angie

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:35PM
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