An Emergence Cage for Citheronia Regalis

by Scott Smith

Rather than storing pupae in soil, I (Scott Smith) wrap each one in paper towel tubes and store them in dry screen lined plastic containers with screen lids. The adults easily wet and push through the closed tubes of toweling and emerge in perfect condition.

I keep these containers stored in my basement directly on the concrete floor with no added moisture during the winter months. The average temperature during May 2001 has been about 68 degrees, humidity is low at approx. 25% all year. Regardless of the dim lighting, cool temps and low humidity, these emerge at approx. the same times as specimens found in their native habitat.

I (Bill Oehlke) use (for Sphingidae and Ceratocampinae) the same rubbermaid plastic tubs used by Scott, but I do not cut out the tops or use screen along the sides. I drape paper towels over three sides, top to bottom. The screening or paper towels are necessary for the moths to climb and hang to inflate wings. I use a layer of moist paper towels on the bottom of tub, covered by a layer of bubble pack covered by a layer of dry towels.

I do not use individual wraps on pupae. I just lay them naked on top of dry towels at the bottom of the tub. For winter storage, I keep naked pupae in ziploc plastic containers in fridge crisper with two drips of water on several layers of paper towels.

Both methods work well! I am careful to space pupae on the paper towels and suggest you use an absorbant material. It is not good for the emergence fluid of one pupa to contact an unhatched pupa.

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