Saturday, 27 February 2010

Sleeping Beauties

It has been a long winter.
I had a quick look around the back garden hoping to find a Lesser Celandine flower but failed to find any.
Looking for something to photograph, I opened the box containing some over-wintering moth pupae that I am keeping in a sheltered spot.
These three are: Iron Prominent, Light Knot Grass and Grey Dagger.


  1. Interesting pic Derek.I was wondering which conditions you used for overwintering macro pupae as everyone seems to have their own ideas.Is that live moss,is the box well ventilated,do you spray them etc.

  2. Hi Charlie

    I tend to use moss, from my garden wall, to line plastic containers so that the pupae are protected from drying out and being shaken around.
    I don't need to spray the pupae because, if the container looks dry, I just replace the moss.
    The containers are kept outside, under a garden bench, where they are protected from direct sunlight, snow and ice.
    I also have two sheds, one of which is heated for the benefit of a rather elderly guinea pig!
    The unheated shed currently houses my leaf mines whilst the guinea pig has shared its extravagant accommodation with a vivarium full of primroses and Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing larvae! A single Burnished Brass caterpillar has also enjoyed this pampered existence.
    Only one BBYU seems to have made it through to the pupal stage. The others have gradually disappeared. There may have been some canabalism (?) but I am sure that others have simply escaped.
    You are right to mention ventilation. Too much humidity can be a problem and lids of containers have to be loosened as necessary. Hence the escapees!

  3. Thanks for that Derek.I always find it interesting how others are rearing their livestock. All my pupae (two of them) are in an airtight tupperware box in the garage, though a lot of rearers seem to leave theirs in the fridge over winter.