Egg Gathering Techniques

Pete Smytheman from England wrote:

"Hello Bill,

"As an avid collector and breeder of moths, I just had to write to congratulate you on the Catocala site.

"Here in England we have only 3 resident species, with 2 more very rare migrant species turning up now and again, and so to see the sheer number and beauty of the North American species is incredible.

"I've become interested in American Catocala spp.over the last year or so and I was fortunate enough to be sent some eggs of relicta and ilia last year from a collector in the US and enjoyed rearing them immensely.

"Do you have, or know of anyone who has any overwintering ova of other species I could purchase or exchange ?

"I have surplus ova of the Red underwing, Catocala nupta, from here in England.

"As far as oviposition goes I have found that with the British species a large number of eggs can be obtained without the need for any foodplant bark being present. All I do with captured or bred females is place them in a rigid framed, netted cage, with sheets of kitchen roll type paper ( with dimples ) lying on top. Females invariably probe with their ovipositors through the cage netting and lay eggs in the depressions of the paper surface. I feed females on over ripe fruit, particularly berries, and find they live for several weeks.

"Good luck with the site - keep up the good work.

"Pete Smytheman"

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