polyphemus in CT

Clay Taylor CTaylor at swarovskioptik.com
Thu Sep 6 13:42:26 EDT 2001

John -

    Back in the 80's when I worked as a naturalist at Hammonasset Beach State Park, we regularly found adult Polyphemus moths in mid-to-late August - never very many, but it was a regular occurrence.  I always wondered if they were locals or maybe they flew in / blew in from elsewhere (Long Island?).

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: JH 
  To: Leps-to-all 
  Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 8:54 AM
  Subject: polyphemus in CT

  Hi All - I had reared out some Antheraea polyphemus from some eggs laid by a female I found in early July.  I fed them chestnut and chestnut oak.  They went into cocoon at various times ranging from early to late August.  So far, four of them have eclosed over the last two days!  I never even had a chance to get them out to their cocoonery to overwinter!  In CT, it would be expected that they wouldn't eclose until late next spring.
  Any idea of what may have caused their accelerated their development?  With the windows open in my studio, and they always are, it is about the same temperature as outdoors.  The moths are all about 60% of their normal size. 
  I wonder if this falls in the category of "pioneering".  It's well known that Actias Luna is double brooded in CT, so that's one large saturniid that can pull off that feat.  I would expect that other species "try" to exand their flight time and range and will continue to throughout their existance, not unlike Eurema lisa's fruitless egg laying in this state in the fall.
  John Himmelman  
  PS - I only reared out half of the 50 or so eggs.  The other half I left in the wild.  Every single one of them died via the pointy, or chewing, end of various hymenoptera after reaching the 3rd (or so) instar.
  John Himmelman
  Killingworth, CT USA
  jhimmel at connix.com
  Visit my websites at:
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