Another Monster!

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I was coming back from shooting photos of my foam bee nucs when I noticed this monster on my Birch Tree (Betula Nigra Fox Valley).  Stopped me cold in my tracks!  I knew I had put some small Imperial Moth caterpillars on that tree a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t expect to see anything this big already.  It's like a Buick in the bug world. Check out the hairs on that baby.

There’s an entomologist in metro Detroit that raises various silk moths.  I bought a few small baby caterpillars from him a couple weeks back at a plant nursery to try.  I have raised silk moths in the past, but not the earth pupators.  Now I gotta figure out how to get this behemoth to pupate where I can get him.

All these dang insects are keeping me busy….. 

More pics!!!!!

You have an eye for weird bugs.  Or just a lot of them are headed you way?

OK, here’s a better shot of this monster.  It’s a 5th instar caterpillar of an Imperial Moth. 

I had picked this thing off my smallish, somewhat rare, birch bush (Betula Nigra Fox Valley) a couple of days ago and tried to rear it inside a trash can feeding it my more abundant White Birch instead (Betula papyrifera).  It wasn’t eating the B. papyrifera as vigorously as the B. Nigra, so I decided to put it back on my tree outside today.  The shot above was taken as I moved it back to the B Nigra.

It’s going to be harder to trap a earth pupator when it’s living on a tree outside.  If you have any ideas how to accomplish that, please post them!

Hmmm well I find Polyphemus moth cocoons in leaf litter that's closest to the trunk of the host tree. Assuming these don't just drop off some branch you might be able to rig something for the little guy. Maybe you could place a skirt of weed fabric or even chicken wire around the trunk. And put a layer of fresh wood chips or dirt, (something finer than mulch,) so burrowing would be easier to notice.

Going back to the bucket system and changing the food plant might be easiest though.


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