Thursday, September 25, 2014

Imperial Moth Life Cycle

  After finding an Imperial Moth back in July, I finally have a complete series of photos showing the progression of the offspring from egg to chrysalis.
  The above moth laid over 100 eggs over a 2 day period.
   The caterpillars hatched about 2 weeks later.

  The caterpillars fed on Sycamore or Maple leaves for 6 weeks

  They grew to 5" long.
  The fifth skin shedding revealed the pupa or chrysalis
Discarded skin  and resultant chrysalis

Sarcophagus-like chrysalis 

  The moth will overwinter in the chrysalis and emerge early in the summer to start a new generation.
  Of the ten eggs that I kept, only six hatched, two caterpillars died during the middle stages and one died in the pupation process, leaving three surviving chrysalises.

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