"Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently."
24 June 2011
I was absolutely delighted this week when a fellow member of the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association asked if I wanted to raise some early instars of Antheraea polyphemus, one of three giant silk moths that live in North America.
The top photo shows a pair of first instars on their host plant (red oak). The second photo gives an indication of the relatively fearsome defense mechanisms that the caterpillars use to protect themselves from predation. They are nevertheless still susceptible to parasitic wasps, so hand-rearing in a protected environment greatly enhances their survival.
By next week they should be larger second instars and I should be able to get some better images.