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Author Topic: What is this devil?  (Read 10998 times)
yockey5
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« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2011, 04:21:51 PM »

roll him in an egg batter and deep fry him sound good?
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2011, 09:54:42 PM »

Not with those spikes and hairs. They're designed to break off in the bird's throat and puncture everything they come in contact with.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2011, 07:22:40 PM »

Devil update: 

This thing is getting HUGE!  I think it might start eating small pets if they get too close shocked

Its now almost the size of a hotdog!  I'm going to have to try to stick a tape measure in for the next update.

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BlueBee
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« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2011, 12:59:47 AM »

OK, guys and gals, I don’t know how much bigger this devil can possibly get before it pupates or explodes.  I decided to pick it off the sumac tonight and put it in a cage.  From what I’ve read, once they get about this big they crawl down from the trees and search around the ground for a place to dig a hole and pupate underground.  I would like to get this devil to pupate in a container though. 

Any ideas?


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twintrades
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« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2011, 11:46:17 AM »

Carfull itll bite your hand off ! shocked grin

Never had a dritter dig to morph. Only seen them spin on the tree. Will be cool to see it do its thing. keep taking pics !
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2011, 05:50:10 PM »

I believe a covered bucket with soil and leaf litter medium would work. After pupating it could carefully be dug up and place on the surface of the soil.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2011, 04:53:34 PM »

The devil is STILL eating….

I’ve been practicing my pupating skills this past week getting ready for the big devil to pupate.  Everyone’s friend, the tomato worm, is also an earth pupator, so it is a good test vehicle for experimenting with earth pupation.  I have plenty of tomato worms to experiment with! 

I have read there might be simpler ways to do this, but I decided to try to emulate nature as much as possible for my first earth pupation attempt.  I grabbed a spare planting pot and filled it half full of saw dust, covered that with a wet paper towel and then threw in a big fat tomato worm + some tomato leaves.

After a couple of days, the tomato worm “disappeared”.   I saw a tunnel in the saw dust so I figured it had borrowed into the saw dust.  After about 4 days I decided to dig into the saw dust to see what happened.  I found a big dull green blob that still resembled a tomato worm, but its legs had regressed to just little bumps! 



Finally after about a week, I was kind of shocked to find this!  The tomato worm pupae had somehow wiggled out of its “skin” and turned into this cool pupa.  The old “skin” is to the right of the shiny brown pupae.  Nature sure is amazing sometimes!


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twintrades
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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2011, 07:47:06 AM »

Thats way cool! Never seen it before.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2011, 02:29:17 PM »

I’m getting pretty good at pupating tomato worms now grin  Practice makes perfect?

Here’s a close up for you tomato worm lovers out there.  The odd stem like thing coming out of the top of the pupae is where the moth’s long tongue is supposed to form.  You can also make out the lines of the moths wings.

These things should hatch into Carolina Sphinx hawk moths next spring.  These are descent sized moths as you can see from the pupae.  They have long tongues and fly like a hummingbird.  You may see them out sipping nectar from flowers in the evening.


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BlueBee
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« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2011, 12:21:43 PM »

For the love of God, the Devil has FINALLY stopped eating... 

I found it down crawling in the sawdust this morning.  It has changed from a leaf green coloration to an interesting teal coloration.  Sorry for the photo quality, it was taken in a dark 30 gallon trash can. 



For the past week or so it’s been living in a big 30 gallon trash can, with sumac for food and sawdust on the bottom.  This photo was taken before the devil started eating.


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twintrades
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« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2011, 03:31:25 PM »

Lol cool pics I love see your updates
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BlueBee
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« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2011, 03:47:32 PM »

OK, I risked the Wrath of Khan and pawed through the bottom of the trash can / saw dust where the devil has been pupating for the last few days.  This is what I found.  I pulled him out of the trash can and put him in a smaller container so I could watch the process better.  I was amazed how shriveled up this big beast has become. 

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BlueBee
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« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2011, 11:42:11 PM »

I took the camera out to take a photo of the big pupae of the Hickory Horned devil when I heard something rustling about in the dark cabinet where I was keeping the HHD and the tomato worms I experimented with.

Turns out half the tomato worm pupae had hatched out and were now moths trying to escape.  Here’s a photo of what a tomato worm turns into before it pumps up it’s wings.



I was astonished that the tomato worm pupae didn’t go into diapause (dormancy) for the winter.   We’ve only got another month of foliage left for the bugs to eat.  There really isn’t time for another cycle of tomato worms on my tomato plants. 

My guess is the tomato worms should have gone into diapause but didn’t because they were too warm where I was keeping them.  I had them in a warm dark cabinet, probably never got below 65F on average.  Whereas in their natural habitat underground, it's colder and damper than 65F.   

I suppose the lesson learned here is:  don’t let your earth pupators get too warm before next spring
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BlueBee
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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2011, 12:01:44 AM »

Here at last, is what that big fat hickory horned devil caterpillar turned into after it got done eating; a rather sizable pupae!


This would normally winter underground, but I will be wintering it in a Rubbermaid with sawdust of some sort.  Come next spring, it should hatch out in a big Regal Moth.

I think there is a way to tell the males from the females at this point, but I’ll have to check into that.  I’ve been told the females are generally the larger pupae.
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Francus
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« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2011, 09:27:02 AM »

Wonderful pics. Keep 'em coming!
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