cecropia larvae

Bruce cues at itsnet.com
Tue Jun 20 12:29:32 EDT 2000

Typically fluid released from the larva is from a fatal bacterial infection.
This is caused by overhumid conditions. It is highly contagious. Clean and
disinfect the container with clorox/water solution. Dry completely. These
caterpillars will do better in a screened cage. I build a cage about
12"x12"x12". I build a top and bottom frame with fiberglass screen and wood.
Holes are punched into the bottom screen. This is placed over a plastic
dishpan with water in it. The cage is placed on top of that. The plants
stems are pushed through the holes in the bottom and into the water to keep
them fresh (like a vase). The top is placed on the cage. Change out the
plants as they are eaten. Make sure that there are no gaps between the lid
and the cage and also the bottom or you will have escapes. The caterpillars
will roam when they are ready to pupate. They will pupate in the cage in the
way typical to the species. I have had great success with this with silk
moths, and swallowtails. I use this also with Hemaluca moths accept at the
last when they are ready to pupate. I place them in an terrarium with a
screen lid with lots of pine shavings and some food plant. They will pupate
in this. This system will work with sphingids too.

Utah Lep. Society newletter editor.
Utah, USA
Lisa Larson <llarson at hcs.harvard.edu> wrote in message
news:slrn8ktivq.6lc.llarson at hcs.harvard.edu...
> Hi, I'm rearing cecropia for the first time and have a couple questions
> about a few untimely demises.  I have about 15 larvae; they're about
> fifteen days old, and are in their first and second instars (they
> hatched over a period of about a week, not all at once).  I've been
> feeding them lilac leaves which have not been treated with any sort of
> pesticide.
> Today three first-instars were dead at the bottom of the container.
> There was some murky liquid around them which they may have exuded while
> dying, or may have drowned in.  The leaves I put in last night were a
> little damp from rain-- I figured the caterpillars would be adapted to
> deal with that, but maybe some water pooled up and they just drowned?
> Or could some disease have afflicted them, despite their being indoors?
> Or should I just expect this sort of mortality rate?
> Thanks,
> Lisa

More information about the Leps-l mailing list