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Anyone raise hornies and humingbird moths?

Gemmarii

Member
Hi, guys.
I recently got a couple of containers of hornworms to feed Janeway, the last three from the first container started doing their little cult circle dance around the bottom with their veins pulsing, so I knew from prior research it was time for them to pupate and I have one of those small plastic critters carriers meant for a tarantula I think, with the split lid so that you can only pop open a little bit of the lid for feeding, so I put some delightfully moist potting soil in there and stuck them in and they burrowed instantly.

That was about two weeks ago, and after they burrowed I had gotten another container and one of those buggers was a real mammoth of a fella, I mean the chunkiest of the chunk. He was ready after a couple of days so I threw him in the box. He went all the way down to the bottom against the clear plastic and I've been watching him hang out there for the last week and a half or so and yesterday he was finally a pupa. So I dug through and found all four that are pupafied, which is great. (Significant size difference between the mammoth and the other three)

But then I realized I have a dilemma. If they emerge within the next month and I end up with all of only one gender, it will be November/December in Wisconsin. I will not be able to go sky fishing to attract wild ones to breed with.

I do have a hummingbird feeder and two unopened bottles of nectar and build plans for a movable flight cage because I tried this once over the summer and since it was nice and warm I just kept the pupa in the garage in a flower pot and three of them emerged super early and got out, pupa shards everywhere, and the last one I brought inside to keep an eye on it and it died in pupa.

But I want to know if there is any kind of way I can make them go dormant and overwinter in their pupas so that when they hatch in spring, if I end up with all of one gender, I can attract a wild mate or two. Every time I try to Google for this specific information, all I get is pest control. And I don't want to just stick them in the garage because it is unheated and we always have the doors open and we get -40 and -50 (Farenheit) temperatures in January and February and I understand that wild ones can survive that and not all of them die, but I really don't want to risk it.
 

Shinryu

Hatchling Member
Staff member
Lead Writer
@Gemmarii wow, this sounds like a very interesting project! I have zero experience in this and totally out of my depth but because it sounded so cool, I researched this a bit.


I don't know if you have seen this link before but it talks about being been to control when the pupa emerge by controlling the photoperiod of their environment. If they are getting more light, they assume it's time to emerge faster. If they aren't getting much light, they assume it's winter, and wait. At least that's what I got out of reading this article.

I really hope it helps you a bit and kudos to you for doing such an awesome project!
 

Gemmarii

Member
Original Poster
@Gemmarii wow, this sounds like a very interesting project! I have zero experience in this and totally out of my depth but because it sounded so cool, I researched this a bit.


I don't know if you have seen this link before but it talks about being been to control when the pupa emerge by controlling the photoperiod of their environment. If they are getting more light, they assume it's time to emerge faster. If they aren't getting much light, they assume it's winter, and wait. At least that's what I got out of reading this article.

I really hope it helps you a bit and kudos to you for doing such an awesome project!
Thank you, I couldn't find the bit you were talling about for the photo period, but maybe I could just stick them in a dresser drawer? There isn't really anywhere in my house that is dark enough long enough.
 

Gemmarii

Member
Original Poster
@Gemmarii wow, this sounds like a very interesting project! I have zero experience in this and totally out of my depth but because it sounded so cool, I researched this a bit.


I don't know if you have seen this link before but it talks about being been to control when the pupa emerge by controlling the photoperiod of their environment. If they are getting more light, they assume it's time to emerge faster. If they aren't getting much light, they assume it's winter, and wait. At least that's what I got out of reading this article.

I really hope it helps you a bit and kudos to you for doing such an awesome project!
Oh, the photoperiod bit was under the adults section, not the pupa section XD I hadnt read that far yet.
 
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