Thursday, September 18, 2014

hooded owlet ~ 09/18/14 ~ at home

Cucullia sp. (Hodges 10180-10214)

I have to say, Andy is incredibly accommodating to my insect-rearing whims.  Twenty years ago, my ex threw a hissy fit after I mentioned I wanted to bring home a couple silk moth caterpillars from class.  I never did.  I should have known right then that it wasn't going to work out.  Ha!  Anyways, Andy got home before I did and even though he was pressed for time to get to an evening meeting, he discovered Charlotte went on her walkabout and he went searching for her around the living room.  Oh my goodness.  He's seen me make these containers enough times that once he found Charlotte tucked under a cotton rug, he knew what to do.  Admittedly, he used an old gym sock instead of nylon (I changed it out before this pic), but he got the gist.  He said she held still for about 3 minutes and then in 30 seconds she was completely under.  That was way quicker than George's 10-15 minutes.  Plus, Andy added a little blue tab to show me exactly where Charlotte had dug herself in.  Good man.  In a few days, I may gently dig up George (on the left) just to document his turd shape with photos, and then return him to the soil.  I'll be setting these containers with papae outside for the winter so they'll develop naturally without the artificial influence of indoor warmth.  I just have to make sure to check on them come spring.  Sometimes I forget I even have them.  Oops.

ps 01/18/16 - Last year I dug up George and inadvertently tossed him over the balcony believing he was a compost chunk.  It wasn't until Charlotte emerged as an adult that I realized what I had done.  George and Charlotte were not smooth, turd-shaped pupae, as I had assumed they'd be.  Charlotte was a fuzzy, pill-shaped object.  As for George, I hope he ended up well.  I have pictures of the adult Charlotte and cannot determine the exact Cucullia sp.