Disappearing moths????

Semjase semjase at aol.com
Tue Jun 16 11:19:55 EDT 1998

>I had eight cecropia cacoons over the winter. So far three of them hatched,
>so I have five left. Today I cut the last five open, and inside one of them
>there was a dead caterpillar. Inside three of them were pupae. And in the
>other one, there was only an empty pupa skin!!!!! I also cut open the three
>cacoons that hatched, and there were only skins in those ones, so I know I
>didn't have the hatched ones mixed up with the unhatched ones. So, I know
>for sure I only had three moths hatch, yet I had four empty skins! How is
>this possible? Is there some kind of parasite that could have eaten away the
>pupa, leaving only the skin? Because I know that cacoon never hatched, but
>there is just an empty skin. Any ideas?

Hi Sheena

I have had cecropia hatch out and leave the cocoon apparently intact because
the hole they make closes up again.  If these were wild collected  you may have
picked up empty cocoons that way.  They may feel heavy enough because they may
be damp from rain.

Best Wishes 


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