cecropia larvae

Mothman617 Mothman617 at mediaone.net
Tue Jun 20 21:27:58 EDT 2000

Hi Lisa. Cecropia larvae can be quite difficult in their early instars. They
are picky eaters and generaly do not like to feed upon tough leaves such as
Lilac or Oak through their second instar. I have had much success starting
them on Hazelnut and tender new leaves of Willow. I highly recommend the
Hazelnut (Corylus americana). At the third instar you can feed them the
tougher leaves of other foodplants. Try to use native foodplants such as
Cherry or Apple. Lilac is non-native to North America even though it is a
popular landscape shrub that H. cecropia as well as many other species will
feed upon. Lilac should only be used if no other plant is available.

Good Luck. M. Arey
"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

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