Hyalophora cecropia (robin moth)
The ova or eggs take two to three weeks 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 hatch out black , but on their first moult to second instar they turn yellow.
Larval feed on apple, cherry and a lot more other plants.
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.
They become more stunning with each moult.
They lose the yellow and become more blue as they moult.
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 in a leaf or on a branch. These are single brooded and need a cold spell , place them in a shed or outhouse for winter.
Come spring the cocoon can be placed or hung up in a flight cage.
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 around 100 eggs on the cage sides or on leaves 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 and live for 10-14 days.