how release larvae? dispersal?

lday at lday at
Wed Jul 1 01:18:53 EDT 1998

Hi all...

I want to release my promethea moth larvae (~100).  I'm trying to get
out of rearing so I can have a life again.  But I'm having trouble doing it.

They are eating wild cherry.  I went to a large nature preserve nearby,
(larvae are from local stock) and tried to put the larvae onto cherry trees
there.  I wanted to put just a few on each tree, so they would be spread out,
so some bird wouldn't find and eat them all.

But there were big problems.  1) I couldn't pull the larvae off the leaf they
were already on, to put them on the tree leaf, without damaging them. So I 
ended up tying little leaf/twig pieces onto the trees with thread, which is 
VERY time-consuming.  2) I couldn't find enough cherry trees with reachable 
branches.  I only covered a small proportion of the preserve, but the rest 
may not be any better.

Is there a good way to put out these larvae?  Caring for them is a pain,
but I don't have all day to walk around setting them out either.  I would
just give them to people instead, but I really do want to put some back in 
the wild after all the moths I've taken out.  

Is it important how dispersed they are?  Does it matter if I put them all
on the lower limbs?  Would it be easier to wait til they're cocoons and
just tie the cocoons to random branches throughout the preserve?

I could really use some information or help... it might save me a lot of
time and worry.  


Liz Day   

(and Tweeter-Boinger, parakeet)
(and about 100 4th-instar promethea... they eat like hogs and they haven't 
even reached their "Sherman's march" stage yet  <8-()
LDAY at 
Indianapolis, Indiana, central USA - 40 N latitude, zone 5.

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