Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bad luck already

I haven't even taken my cocoons out of diapause, and I've already lost one.

I'd been keeping my cocoons in a wine cooler fridge at 52 degrees F, in narrow mouthed containers. The mouths of the containers are stuffed with batting that I'd wet every so often with water to keep a little bit of humidity in the containers. I was afriad that the fan on the cooler would dry them out, and I was also afraid to put them in an airtight container (even though I've heard of folks doing that).

Today when I checked on the cocoons I found one that was moldy. There was more condensation int he container than I would have liked, which can only mean that I wet the batting too much last time. I dried the rest of the cocoons and shook the extra water from the container.

Then I cut open the cocoon to see how the pupa was. Unfortunately, it was dead. It looked like a moth, so for some reason it had come out of its pupal case. This is not really a good sign, and now I'm worried that some of the others have come out of their pupal cases as well. I'm not sure why they would do this, since they shouldn't be developing at all at this temperature. However, the rest of the cocoons look fine, and when I shake then I can hear them rattling inside their cocoons. This leads me to believe that they are still inside the pupal cases like they should be, but I don't know for sure and I don't want to cut open the cocoons to find out. I guess I'll just have to wait.

Also, I'm wondering if the moth got moldy and then died, or died and then got moldy. So which came first, the mold or the death?

In any case, I feel like I need to get those cocoons out soon, but we don't have leaves on the trees here yet. Come on trees! Lets get going!

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