Regal Moth Caterpillars and Possible Viceroy Cats
I acquired six regal moth eggs, also some luna moth eggs. The luna moths have hatched, and five of the six regal moth eggs have hatched. I'm REAL excited about the regals/hickory horned devils! There is NO more interesting caterpillar that I've ever raised than this one! I tried to make a picture of them in the cage, but the only one that was in a good position for a picture was one that was curled up.
(I've deleted the picture that was here to post better ones.)
I took their container outside to get a better picture, but the humidity is so high it fogged up my camera lens. I'll try to make some pictures later.
The regals are eating persimmon. I chose that one, because that's what the locals use, and I wanted any future generations that may come from these to be 'persimmon' friendly. They're eating, not as much as the lunas, but then who does? I'm seeing frass under them, so that's a good sign. I'm a little nervous about them, because in the past, some of my regal cats died. They're definitely not as easy to raise as luna moths. Also, that's another reason I'm feeding them persimmon. Before, I fed them pecan, because that's the only member of the hickory family I have available, and I thought they'd do better on that. The locals seem to think persimmon is better, though, so I'll go with their opinion.
The luna moths are growing fast, as usual, on sweetgum. I don't worry about them - 'can't recall ever having lost one of them, although not all these eggs hatched.
I found two hatchlings on the willow in the garden. They're tan, the usual color of viceroy hatchlings. Red-spotted purples occasionally use willows, so they might be RSPs, but RSP hatchlings are darker, so I think a viceroy slipped in without me seeing her and laid some eggs. I hope these are viceroys, because I've just finished raising five more RSPs, and they're now chrysalides. I brought these two viceroys onto the porch to raise myself. I've had trouble in the past keeping willow fresh in water, except when the temps were mild and the humidity was very high. The humidity hasn't been under 90% in several days, so, if this keeps up, there should be no problem. Even if it doesn't, I've got plenty of willow available to use for changing out their food, and I can't leave them to the wasps, predatory stink bugs, and spiders! I don't usually raise sleepy oranges, but I'm doing so now, because the cats were disappearing - 'can't stand that!
I'm also raising yet three more spicebush swallowtails, plus one palamedes swallowtail. There is no decent redbay to be found around here (this one was on a tiny redbay seedling) so I'm feeding it sassafras, which I have plenty of, in good condition. It's doing well. Considering the way redbay gets so deformed with galls, it would be better if palamedes swallowtails would just start laying their eggs on sassafras. Here's hoping this is a female, and she'll get the message! :)
This post was edited by misssherry on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 14:35