Moth on a leash.

Kurt Jacobs morphidae at
Mon Jun 5 22:15:48 EDT 2000

This spring was the fourth generation of my H. cecropia stock, and I never
have had any problem getting a pairing.  This year I saved only 15 cocoons
for breeding, thinking that the odds would be in my favor.  Two males
emerged early and then only females.  Is nature telling me something?

In order to get a pairing, two females (about 30 hours into their adult
life) were carefully tied to a 2 foot long strand of dental floss between
the thorax and the abdomen.  Then the two tethered females were taken to a
swamp where cecropia is fairly common and tied each to a tree along a
clearing about 50 yards apart (June 1).  I was amazed when the next day one
of the females had brought in a mate.    This wild male was nearly twice the
size of the bred female.  I brought the joined couple home and they
separated about 2 hours later.  The other female either escaped or was taken
by birds.

Kurt Jacobs

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