Thursday, May 1, 2008

Strange behavior

I asked for advice on my moth breeding on the silkworm rearing yahoo group that I subscribe to. Nathan said that it sounded like my moths may be inbred. He said that sibling moths won't breed each other, so that might explain why only one moth seemed interested in breeding. He also said that inbreeding can cause unexpected death of moths or worms. I'm wondering if inbreeding can also cause the wing deformities that I've seen. It's disappointing.

Since I'd really like second generation of these guys I'm going to keep the eggs from each female separate, then try and choose all males from one and all females form the other. Both my females who laid any eggs (more on that in a minute) might be sisters but at least I can keep full sibling from mating. Or I can try at least.

On eggs news...very late last night I checked the last two females. One had started laying eggs in the paper bag that I put her into. I did a quick count and it was about 15. I thought she was probably on her way so I left her alone. There were still no more eggs this evening, so I thought that I might have gotten my females confused and maybe this lady hadn't actually paired up. I put her back in with the males and she immediately laid two eggs. So I put her back in the paper bag and she stopped laying. I waited a bit and then picked her up. Then she laid two eggs on me in rapid succession.

I quickly put her back in the bag, but she stopped laying. Every time I picked her up she would deposit eggs on me. I don't know what's going on with her. Maybe it's her inbreeding, the warmth of my hand, her body position, or just coincidence. But when she seemed to be on a roll I put her back in the bag, which is where she is now.

I hope she's laying eggs in that bag right now, because I'm not holding her all night so she can lay eggs on me. I'm dedicated to this project, but that sounds a little crazy, even to me.



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