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Author Topic: Polyphemus Problem  (Read 4798 times)
BlueBee
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« on: April 30, 2012, 12:45:19 AM »

OK Folks, I have a problem.  I had 4 of my Polyphemus emerge last week which is WAY too early for them.  You see they feed off Red Oak leaves and the Red Oaks haven’t even broken bud here yet.  What should I do huh
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 02:17:23 AM »

Get someone to mail you some red oak leaves from somewhere further south?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 04:48:31 PM »

Then there is the other problem of getting them to mate without a red oak tree in leaf.  The Polys are a little harder to mate than the other silk moths.  You usually have more luck if you hang the females in red oak trees.  Something about the volatiles emitted by the oak leaves along with the female pheromones.  I’m not an expert though.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 08:33:34 PM »

Try the flowers if they have them. If there's still dead leaves to the plant about, the caterpillars should eat those but fresh leaves from this year are best. Consider driving to a park south of you and locate some leaves. Even driving just an hour can be worth the trip. Load up on leaves, freeze the extras until needed!
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 11:41:49 PM »

No mating yet.  I’ve tried to get them to mate in the barn that past couple nights because it has been cold up here.  Warm front pushed through today so I’ve got 4 cages of Polys out hanging in the trees tonight.  Hopefully we’ll have some success tonight.   
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 07:21:08 PM »

Aren't the males usually the first ones to emerge? I see in a lot of other silk moths females will barely make it out of the cocoon before a male is there to pounce on her.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 08:11:40 PM »

Success!  I got 2 of my 4 cages to mate last night.  I put 2 in the red oak tree and 2 in a pear tree.  Wouldn’t you it, but both cages in the red oak were mating this morning, neither in the pear were.  There does seem to be something to the myth that the Polys mate best around red oak trees. 



Aren't the males usually the first ones to emerge? I see in a lot of other silk moths females will barely make it out of the cocoon before a male is there to pounce on her.

This has been my experience too.  However for some odd reason I’m having female Poly’s emerge first this year.  Might be the weird weather. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 12:03:28 AM »



LOL, I think I like the large cell moths better than the small ones  Smiley

I had some giant sized Polys emerge this spring from cocoons collected on my Betula Nigra tree.  The Poly on the right was raised on Red Oak.  Everybody says Red Oak is a staple for the Poly’s, but at least in my little world, they have growm bigger on the River Birch.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 12:10:14 AM »

BTW… I still have my original problem.  Moths before trees!  I now have hundreds of Polyphemus eggs from my mated moths, but the red oak leafs are not even close to mature.  They do have leafs now; but they’re just baby leafs.  I’m hoping the eggs won’t hatch for another week since we are suppose to have a warm (70s) week this week.  That will help those oak leaves grow out. 

Do you think the polys would eat anything from the grocery store?
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 03:04:28 PM »

I know when Monarchs move through Texas the Milkweed has just poked a few inches out of the ground before they lay eggs all over them. I think the baby leaves will be fine to feed them.
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