Today began with a visit to Tuesdays at Ten at Cranky Al's, where I brought some of my Luna moth larvae for a preschool story time centered on moths. It was so cute seeing how excited the kids were to touch such big, bright caterpillars! Here are two photos: one of two large lunas crawling on a stick and the other of my daughter and a caterpillar friend:
I've been slowly finding homes for a small percentage of the many caterpillars that have made it to the fifth instar. I also noticed today that one of my green caterpillars appeared to be blushing. At first I thought something was wrong until it occurred to me that perhaps it was preparing to spin a cocoon. Several photographs at the Actias luna wiki verified that Lunas can turn a pinkish hue just before pupating. Sure enough, just within the last hour we noticed several cocoons in our bankers-box-turned-Luna-habitat. Exciting stuff!
The wiki entry stated that unless lunas are diapausing over winter, the pupation process should take about two weeks. We'll see if, come early July, we have a new generation of adult lunas eclosing from their cocoons!