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1454 Views 8 Replies Last post: Aug 10, 2013 10:31 PM by kirsty teenie dancer RSS
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Aug 10, 2013 3:23 PM

advice on moth eggs....

mike hardman i hope your there for this one..... hi iv done it again, i found snail eggs few months back and they have hatched..but today im on about moth eggs... yesterday i found two mating poplar moths, and i brought them home as so kids round my area would't harm them, i let them go on my lilly of the valley plant in my garden and today iv noticed there are over 40 eggs...some on the lilly of the valley and some on the fence some on my connifer and some on my fuchsia... im thinking of keeping them till they hatch but need advice on how????? iv searched on line and it says they need a host plant but would that matter... so please can anyone help me with the right advice...

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    Aug 10, 2013 3:56 PM (in response to kirsty teenie dancer)
    Re: advice on moth eggs....

    Hello Kirsty!


    You did well to find poplar hawk moths mating; that's something I've never seen.


    You talk about keeping them until they hatch...

    Do you mean just the eggs, or are you talking about rearing the caterpillars until the moths 'hatch' from their pupae?



    The caterpillars feed on poplar and aspen (Populus species) and sallow (Salix species).

    They may feed on other plants, but I would not count on it (and they might not like the taste, so we wouldn't want to force them to eat something they dislike, would we?)


    You may have about 40 eggs, but quite a few would probably die, so you might be left with 30, say. That is still quite a lot of caterpillars to look after. I would suggest you watch the eggs, and when they start to hatch, move some to a suitable (poplar/sallow) plant, and keep a few for yourself (also feeding them on the same plant material). ...If you're sure. ...Because they will need daily attention for quite some while, and it may be a year before the adult moths emerge from their pupae.


    That's going beyond your question, however.


    And first, check that the eggs really are from the poplar hawk moth (see here -


    Good luck


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    Aug 10, 2013 6:19 PM (in response to kirsty teenie dancer)
    Re: advice on moth eggs....

    Hello Kirsty.

    Many years ago a friend of mine found a poplar hawk moth and kept it in a box for a short while during which time it laid many eggs inside the box. Me being an obsessive lepidopterist, volunteered to keep the eggs until they hatched. I then went on a convoluted country walk placing the tiny new hatchlings on local sallows (carefully using a small, soft brush). I kept some for myself but be warned, you have to change the food plant regularly as dried up leaves will be no good, they need the moisture in the leaves to survive. And when the caterpillars finally mature they will burrow into the ground to turn into pupae (provide them with some deep soil in which to do this).

    I guess both our stories are cautionary tales about leaving nature alone. The moths you found would have been near their chosen foodplant (polars, willows or sallows) and the female would have laid on this.

    Good Luck.

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