Gum Emperor Moth eggs

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #36058

    Grace
    Participant

    I noticed a huge moth resting for some time on our lawn this evening and put it in our terrarium for my child to study for a day. She was hoping to take it to school tomorrow. However, within 1 hour the moth started laying eggs on the inside of the glass wall. So we decided to free the moth immediately and placed her in a forested corner of our section (just a few metres from where she was found) instead.

    However we are left with about a dozen eggs. My daughter is really keen to raise them but we need help as we know nothing about how to. I read tonight that they will hatch in about a week and like to live on the top new growth of gum trees. I understand there are experts here and any advice would be appreciated 🙂

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #37086

    Andrew
    Participant

    hi Andrew here from Inglewood/Taranaki,we have about 50 odd eggs and one has just hatched,if there isn’t any gum trees around to feed them is there any other food we could feed them.

    #36696

    Grace
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui. She’s been set free today 🙂

    #36695

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    They will be eggs, but because she wasn’t flying around and finding a mate, they won’t be fertile. 🙁 Can’t you let her go outdoors where she might find a mate?

    Some of your photos are on the site, link below. Great ones, Julie, thanks for sharing. Not sure why one page is faulty, have asked our internet guru to look at it.

    Gum Emperor 3 hours after emerging from chrysalis, wings unfurled

    #36684

    Grace
    Participant

    OK, now things are getting strange!! The moth has been contained in our terrarium since emerging from her chrysalis yesterday at 4pm. By 8am today, however, she had laid about 100 eggs!! All without contacting another moth!! Pics of the eggs loaded. Everything I’ve read says she needs to mate before producing eggs. If these are not eggs what are they? They look like the pics of Gum Emperor Moth eggs on Google images. Stacked in lines too. Ideas anyone?

    #36679

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great photos, Julie. Can you please email them directly to photos@monarch.org.nz, maybe two at a time? In the subject put something like “Gum Emperor” and the body any comments should relate to the photos…

    Thanks!

    #36678

    Grace
    Participant

    Good news finally!! Although we lost all our eggs the lone chrysalis has today opened. A gorgeous moth has emerged which we have photographed, video’d and generally marvelled at. We will be releasing it in the morning at a friend’s place where there are plenty of gum trees. Even though it can’t eat it seems by doing that we’ll maximise it’s chances of finding a mate before it dies. Video can be viewed as follows …. emergence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O3hDBoTODk and unfurling of wings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6XuLsfXYR8
    Not sure how to load pics to your site but have emailed to admin.
    Thanks again for your interest and advice.

    #36170

    Errol
    Participant

    I was lucky enough to be given a couple of cocoons last year, one took around a month to hatch, the other around six weeks or so. So be patient Grace and they are really beautiful and easy to handle.

    #36169

    Grace
    Participant

    Well sad news I’m afraid, it’s been 13 days and no caterpillars have hatched. When I counted them all it was actually about 30 eggs we have. Over the last few days their deep yellow colour has faded considerably and the eggs now look sunken in rather than round as they did originally. We had them indoors all this time, perhaps humidity and/or temperatures were a problem. Good news is we still have the chrysallis that I found on a tree on 10 nov. We’ll be waiting and listening for the noises that TgaLiz heard, maybe for a very long time. Fingers crossed that wait won’t be in vain too.

    #36110

    Grace
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply adw 🙂 That seems like such a mistake in functional design!! Have secured a good ongoing source of new growth. Fingers crossed that the eggs hatch now

    #36109

    Grace
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply TgaLiz 🙂 I’m really hoping we get live caterpillars too!! We are sharing it at school and the eggs are 6 days old now. I was sourcing food yesterday and, low and behold, I found a Gum Emperor Moth chrysalis. It’s about 18 inches from the new growth so I’m thinking it might have been laid last year. As the food source tree is being removed soon I took the chrysalis branch for our project too. Hope it hatches this year …..

    #36104

    TgaLiz
    Participant

    Years ago I was given a Gum Emperor moth chrysalis – quite a big rather woody thing. My daughter put the branch it was on in a vase on her bookshelf, and we all forgot about it. Weeks later she came rushing into the kitchen, about 7’ish, very scared, saying someone was trying to get into her window. We finally realised the scratching noise was coming from the chrysalis, as the new moth apparently has a hook to help it break out of it’s hard covering! Fascinating, but we will always remember the event.
    Do hope you get live caterpillars, and eventually the chrysalises.

    #36102

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Just a note, if you see one again, the Gum Emperor Moths do not have mouth parts and do not feed, so they only get approx 3 days after hatching to find a mate, mate and lay their eggs, so one day is very important to them. Good luck with the little ones, replace their feed plant very regularly.

    #36061

    Grace
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    I’m in Levin. Thanks for your interest and your advice. We will do our best 🙂 If we get any photos that are of sufficient quality we will certainly share.

    Grace

    #36060

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello Gracewill.

    What part of NZ are you in?

    Yes these can be raised in captivity. If you are close to somewhere where Eucalyptus trees are growing just gather the new growth off the trees – or after a storm when those new branches will be laying on the ground – and feed them to the caterpillars. I raised two a couple of years ago. The caterpillars are so colourful.

    A container of some sort to keep the caterpillar(s) from straying – I used one of our caterpillar castles.

    Others will chime in with other suggestions, I’m sure. Good luck with it!

    Some great photos here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opodiphthera_eucalypti

    If you take photographs we would welcome some to add to our collection. Please keep in touch.

    Jacqui

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.