Caterpillars I have been raising(pic heavy) - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #11 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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.



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post #12 of 28 Old 08-30-2010, 07:20 PM
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I don't know how you do it, Mikaila31. Looking forward to the pics from the cocoon emergence.
Cool pictures. I still can't get over how you can handle them and not get all creeped out. I grow tomatoes and whenever I see a huge Tomato Horn Worm (they look a little similar to your catapillars except not nearly as colorful and they have this "horn" on the back end) I have to run and get gardening gloves to remove them from my tomato plants. One of these bad boys can decimate a tomato plant in less than 24 hours. These horn worms also have sticky feet and it creeps me out. Yuck.
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post #13 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 07:13 AM
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Anyone else see the ad for pest control here? Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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post #14 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 07:45 AM
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all i can say really is Wow ! i find them all fantastic,and
could look at them all day,we visited a butterfly place one time,and
i really didn't want to leave,maybe that could be my next job.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 07:52 AM
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cool.i did that with about 25 or 30 monarchs this summer but im just wondering how do you know the monarch in your picture is a male? debbie

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post #16 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 09:01 AM
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oops guess i messed up on who was raising the butterflys. so i want to say to mikaila31 how do you know the monarchs are male or female since i set about 30 of them free this summer . thanks. debbie

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post #17 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
You can tell easily on the butterflies wings. I'm sure it differs for each species, but monarchs have kinda wing spots on the males and none on the females. The spot is in the lower/tail section of the wing, it is not a true spot more like a place where the a strip gets irregularly wide. Males also have much thinner black stripes. Females have very thick black stripes in the lower section on the wing. Its easiest to tell when the wings are open. The butterfly in the video is male, you can see his spots when he opens his wings.

This butterfly is female, due to the wide black stripes and no wing spots.


Obvious male do to the spots on his lower wings.
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 01:29 PM
These guys probably love you to bits.they might visit you on and off coz they luv ya.

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post #19 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 04:08 PM
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thanks for the information about male and female monarchs. i will look closer at mine next summer. you learn something new everyday no matter how old you are. ha ha. debbie

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post #20 of 28 Old 08-31-2010, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OscarLoverJim View Post
you learn something new everyday no matter how old you are.
very true.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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