polyphemus, etc.

Martha V. Lutz & Charles T. Lutz lutzrun at avalon.net
Sun Aug 13 22:20:46 EDT 2000

M. Arey wrote:

"I do live in a rural area just north of Boston and have had much experience
in rearing and collecting Saturniids. The Polyphemus are generally double
brooded here and are sporadic throughout the summer. Much depends on weather
conditions here in southern New England which can vary from year to year."

It is the same here in Iowa.  Weather determines the timing of the first
brood emergence, which determines what happens with the potential second
brood.  We are right between zone 4 and zone 5 with regards to botanical
winter-hardiness.  Is Boston a zone 4?

Since you have extensive experience, I would be interested to hear whether
any of your polyphemus have ever mated if they were full sibs.  The other
Saturniids I raise are essentially promiscuous, but the polyphemus moths
seem to have a built-in incest taboo.  They also have the most pronounced
dimorphism with regard to their antennae, which may or may not have
anything to do with their reluctance to mate with full sibs.  Anyone have
information or comments about this phenomenon???


In Stride,
Martha Rosett Lutz

In humid Iowa, where two of my teen children are planning to run me into
the ground for five miles tomorrow morning . . .

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