08-30-2010, 07:32 PM
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Thanks guys, It seems people either like them or don't. I have friends who loved to play with the cercropias and others that didn't want to be in the same room as them. It was important that those that wanted to hold them were completely comfortable with them. They stick to you like glue, so it does take awhile to get them off you. I will probably have more types of moths next year, I can get luna and two other types of giant silk moths from the same place I got the cercropia. The butterfly caterpillars are all wilds I found in the yard. Monarchs are easy since they have specific small host plants. The swallowtails are much trickier, which is why I only have 4. I can't find those guys unless I watch a butterfly lay an egg. They are probably the prettiest butterflies and the largest in the US, but I love the cercropias. Cercropias get so big and fat, and look so amusing. They are harmless, even the spines they have are not really poky, just rough. We kept them outside when they got big, in two 10gallon plastic bins with screening over the top. If you just sat out there and listened all you could here was their munching on the leaves. The wild cherry trees are happy they don't need food anymore.
This is a young cercropia, 3rd instar, showing off his soft spines.
A day before cocooning. They were almost a joke at this age, they had difficulty moving their own weight.
Then giant swallowtail cats from today. One of the younger ones shed its skin. The biggest one finished cocooning. They make this weird sling/hammock type of cocoon.