And Then There Were Moths!

An Imperial Moth Caterpillar was brought to the enrichment room back in the late fall of 2013. A habitat was quickly put together and the caterpillar would not eat or rest. I knew they pupated underground and made sure the sand was deep in the little enclosure. By morning the caterpillar was gone! All that was left was a small hole in the sand. Then we waited.

The same day the butterflies started hatching out popped a moth!

pupa

This is the casing the caterpillar rested in for the winter.

new moth

The wings of the moth were small, but lots of pumping they were able to grow!

imperal moth

This moth is a beauty.

2 thoughts on “And Then There Were Moths!

  1. My son found an imperial moth pupa outside this week. From what I can gather online I need to put it in a container of dirt and leaves in our garage over the winter and it will emerge in May or June of 2015? Is this correct? I would very much like to keep it alive so he can see it emerge next year. Any advice is very much appreciated! Thanks!

    • Oh, they are interesting little creatures! It will take some time for the imperial caterpillar to pupate. You will notice the little critter is restless and wanders about the habitat when he is ready. He should have about 3 inches of soft dirt or sand to dig in and a few leaves on top of that. When it is time he will burrow in the sand and shed his skin to become a pupa. Keep the habitat in a location where you can check the moisture of the bedding frequently and do not let it dry out. It is well worth your time. The moth that emerges is beautiful! Your son is sure to be delighted.

      These moths only have one brood a year and they live for several days to find mates and lay eggs. They do not even get to eat. I guess they make up for that as caterpillars!

      Good luck and let me know what happens!

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