Cecropia Help

Jane Dillonaire jdillonaire at rcn.com
Tue Jun 19 16:17:16 EDT 2001

Female Cecropia do not usually fly until after mating and depositing some
ova at the mating site - this may explain the flopping around.  The females
have heavier bodies (full of eggs) and are more clumsy fliers. But unless
there is an obvious deformity of her wings, I would say she can certainly
It is not unusual for a female cecropia to begin to oviposit after several
days without mating.  It does not mean all is lost though.  I have had older
ovipositing females mate and proceed to lay the remainder of their eggs
(which were then fertile, of course).  I'm not sure what you meant by "we
left it outside in the cage several nights to see if it attracted any males
but didn't see any."  Although Cecropia females may call early in the
evening, they usually stop around midnight.  They begin calling again just
before dawn (4 - 6 am) and this is when mating usually takes place.  Unless
you were up very early or the cage mesh was wide enough for them to mate
through, you may have missed the males she attracted.  If you found her in
your yard, there must be a population nearby.
Suggestions? Keep trying.  Try leaving her in a cage with 1/2 inch mesh and
check her early for males mating through the wire with her (before sunrise -
you need to beat the birds).  Carefully move the cage to a protected area or
fasten something (another cage?) over the male to protect him until they
disengage. The pair will usually remain engaged until dusk.  Once they
separate, you can place the gravid female in a paper grocery bag to
Good luck!

Jane Dillonaire (hobbyist and student)


   For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit:


More information about the Leps-l mailing list