Brahmaea tancrei, owl moth

The ova or eggs 12 to 21days to hatch stored at room temperature. They should be kept in a small plastic tub or petri dish. Do not add any leaves as this can kill the eggs. On hatching leave the larvae to eat the eggs shell if they want. These develop a dark spot at the micropyle after a few days of being laid. You can also see the caterpillars developing in the clear egg shell.

Larval feed on Privet, lilac

Place kitchen roll on bottom of container, and stand the food up. This way the caterpillars are not sitting in their poo.

Clean the tub daily removing any old food plants and replacing with new. Any food with caterpillars on place back into tub, do not try to pick them of, as this can hurt their legs.

These are very strange caterpillars and have horns from 1-4 instars.

By the time they have moulted to l3 they can be placed into a mesh pop up and the plant food placed into a jam jar with water and stones make sure the water does not come above the stones.

Larval moult usually around 4 times to instar 5. They will be still for several days before walking out of their old skins.

Before beginning to make their cocoon, they will wander around and do a wateryfaecal movement.

You need to put a tub with peat in and them cover this with newspaper or bark, they will crawl under this and pupate.

Store these like this but placed into a plastic tub, in an outhouse or shed for winter.

Bring them back in at the beginning of spring, take newspaper of top and let dry out, but try to keep the peat after 1 cm down slightly damp.

Moths when they emerge will need to be able to climb up the inside of cage to inflate its wings. Do not disturb during this time. After a few hours the males will begin to fly around in search of females. They can mate from 30minutes up to 12 hours, after the female will lay 50-200 eggs on the cage sides over a few days.

Please note if not mated the female will still lay eggs, but they will not hatch.

The adult moths do not feed but drink and you must spray the cage sides at least once a day. They can live for 10-20 days.

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