Cerura vinula (puss moth)
The ova or eggs take 7 – 10 days 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.
Larval feed on sallow, willow, poplars, aspen.
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.
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 watery faecal movement. They spin their cocoons on bark and should be left like that.
This then needs to be stored in an outhouse or fridge.
At the beginning of March it can be placed inside the emergence cage.
They will emerge 4 – 6 weeks later.
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 2 hours, after the female will lay around 150 eggs on willow leaves, over a couple days. Please note if not mated the female will still lay eggs, but they will not hatch.
They do not feed and live 10 – 14 days.