Friday, May 2, 2008

Maybe I should have pulled an all-nighter...

After I put the female moth back in the bag I went to my yahoo group for help. Nathan again gave some excellent information. He said that he's had females that need to be active to lay eggs. He's had to hold them by one wing to get them fluttering and laying. That's why picking her up and putting her with the males worked - it got her moving. He also suggested putting some leaves of her host plant in with her because that might stimulate her some.

When I checked this morning, little Miss Hold-me-while-I-lay-eggs decided to lay ten more eggs overnight, and then she stopped. I decided I needed to take action. I put the two remaining males (one of them is the first one with the crumpled wing who was keen on mating everyone) in the bag with her, along with a small branch of oak leaves.

I'm hoping those males chase her around all day and get any last eggs they can out of her. She's been laying little batches now for three days and I'm afraid she doesn't have much time left. As it is I'm going to have the eggs hatching over a span of days instead of all at once, which will make it a bit of a pain to care for them.

I realized that I never updated on one of the females. She bred, laid one egg, and then died shortly thereafter. Her abdomen was bloated and she didn't look well, so it wasn't really a surprise.

So far the egg count from my four females is -

First female with pupal case abnormality - 0
Beautiful female - 80
Bloated, sick female - 1
Needy female - 65

Hopefully there will be more eggs waiting for me this afternoon, because I'm fresh out of females!

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