NOTES ON HYALOPHORA COLUMBIA
I keep records from year to year on flight times,
eclosions, foodplant preferences, rearing difficulties, etc..
My observations/summaries are entered below.
Livestock of this species and several other species is usually available
in the fall.
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2000 Season Summary
Cocoons were taken out May 20 (two females), May 22 (three males) and May 29
hoping for June 10
and June 17 eclosions.
Cool weather resulted in first eclosions coming on June 16--two females between 3-4 p.m.--which
paired with wild
males at 5:00 am in Sheet
Harbour, N.S.. I also took a wild female in Sheet Harbour on June 16th.
Males from first batch (3) eclosed
on 18th. I obtained mating (5:20 am) on 19th in
Montague, P.E.I. and have another female out on
June 22. She mated with a wild male around 5:30 am in Valleyfield woodlot site on June 25.
Four males emerged on 20th. I also took a wild female at lights in Montague in late June.
To my great surprise I took a wild female at
lights in Pennfield, New Brunswick, on July 14.
I did not expect to see columbia
flying so late in the season.
Derek Bridgehouse and I took nine male columbia at
three different light sources in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia,
two night period the last weekend in June. Males were not at
lights when we retired at 1:30 am. We picked them up around 4:30 am
hoping for females. It now appears (based on literature, correspondence
and 1998 findings) if females are going to
taken at lights, they will be there before midnight. Males, however,
do not report at lights until just before dawn (probably 3:00-4:30 a.m.).
1998 Season Summary
May 16: I removed ten columbia from refrigerator storage
today as we are having an extremely
One male eclosed in
the evening of June 8.
Three males eclosed within fifteen minutes of each other during the
evening of June 9.
Three more males eclosed on June 10.
Early male emergence pattern is typical of this species.
One female eclosed on June 13 and
another on June 14. One female
cocoon contained a dead, completely formed, soft adult.
In Montague, P.E.I., I took one female at Chapel shed
light around 11:00
p.m. on June 17. I took females at Stewart and Beck's, the Lobster Shanty,
and Holland College lights between 11:00 pm and midnight on
A female columbia was taken at a light in S. H., N. S., around 10:45 p.m.
on June 13.
1998 New Brunswick light trap sampling reports one
columbia taken on June 16.
I obtained a mating with a caged female (eclosed June 13) on June 18 at Hyne's trucking.
Most unmated female saturniidae
will begin ovapositing within three nights
after eclosion. This unmated female went five nights without ovapositing before mating.
Perhaps this is typical of this "short-windowed" species.
Ova from all females (three taken at lights were nearly spent and
yielded 25-40 ova each) began
emerging approx. 14-16 days after deposition.
Reports from Quebec indicate their columbia were about
two weeks earlier than ours.
All larvae were put out on larch in remay sleeves at Joe Brown's, Dan Bears, and Dave
Cocoons were taken 6-7 weeks after larvae had emerged. Larvae from later egg depositions seemed
to take longer to develop as nights start
getting quite cool here after first weekend in August. I saved twenty cocoons (12 females and 8 males by size)
for breeding stock. Cocoons were saved,
a few from each of the different females, to ensure
1999 Season Summary
Note: Larch grows extremely rapidly and two 15 foot trees which I had capped in a fairly
tautsleeve (1998) grew through the top of the sleeve.
I did not have this problem with smaller
capped trees or with horizontal branches.
Six to eight fourth instar larvae in a six foot sleeve
is a good number.
Cocoons of this species are usually available
in the fall.
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