I thought I was done with Polyphemus moths when the past spring’s group didn’t end up producing any offspring.
I was wrong. Last fall, students in a friend’s preschool class found a caterpillar at their school. It made a cocoon and stayed in it all winter. Two weeks ago, a beautiful Polyphemus emerged – a female. My friend set the cage outside, thinking she would fly off. But the next morning there were two! The Polyphemus had sent out her pheromones, and attracted a mate.
My friend put her in a paper bag, and she spent the next night laying eggs. My friend released her the next morning, so she could lay the rest somewhere else. Polyphemus moths often lay 200 or more eggs.
My friend shared eggs with a couple of lucky folks, including me. I put them in a plastic bin, sealed tight. Caterpillars don’t need much air – and when moth caterpillars hatch, they scatter everywhere.
On May 29, they came out!