Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moth Egg Update

Last night the mating Lunas finally separated and Luna #3 began laying eggs all over the terrarium. She spent much of today quietly moving from place to place to lay small clusters of dry brown eggs (each the size of a small seed) on the terrarium screening and frame. I assume that this behavior would, in nature, increase the likelihood that at least some of her offspring survive. If an egg-eating predator were to find all the eggs in one place, a moth's entire chance for its genetic code to continue would be gone in one gulp.

I have been very carefully collecting these eggs in a repurposed plastic chinese food container with a clear lid. I poked some air holes in the lid with a knife and have been holding the plastic bowl under the egg clusters and gently scraping them with my fingernail off the screening and into the container. I haven't counted, but I have at least a few dozen.

Today my mated pair (#s 2 & 3) look fatiqued -- they've fulfilled the purpose of their adult lives and seem ready to keel over. #4 has hardly moved and still looks pretty fresh. I wonder if #2 has enough juice left in him to take on a new mate.

#5 has yet to eclose. I know it contains a living creature -- when I pick up the cocoon I can feel the moth squirming inside. Hopefully it will come out sometime soon.

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