Actias luna – hatching

I’m only two for three on getting lunas to my light… no luck last night. Oh well! I’ve got plenty of young’ns to take care of…

One day we had a guest in the lab – a tattered female Actias luna (luna moth) who had been collected by my advisor.
She was kept in a big paper bag, in which she laid a few dozen eggs.

And the eggs have hatched!
(The following photos were taken with my digital camera through the eyepiece of a scope)
The funniest part was I could HEAR them chewing out of the eggs. Their little jaws were working fast!
They all hatched over the course of four days… a few stragglers hatched last night.
Wiggling and wiggling… it was fun watching their folded up hairs springing out, their plump bodies expanding, legs waving in the air. And then… bam! Cute caterpillar!
This closeup is deceiving, they were about 6mm long.Now I bet you’re thinking – oh man, I wish I could have seen that!
Wish granted:
(it gets exciting around 2:50)

You can imagine how giddy I was to get this footage. My camera actually ran out of battery power as I was filming the first attempt, but a fellow lab member let me borrow his camera.

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Posted on May 27, 2011, in Actias, Saturniidae. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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