This morning I sifted through the cardboard bankers box that currently houses my luna moth caterpillars to separate cocoons/pupae from larvae, as well as to remove dead leaves, stripped tree branches and caterpillar droppings.
In the sorting process I snapped some photos. Here's a late bloomer, getting ready to pupate. The little guy lifted his head off the branch he was hugging when he noticed my flash:
And here's an arrangement of pupae on the bankers box lid. Looks like some of the caterpillars spun pupated and then fell from the silken cocoons they'd spun. I'm not sure what this means for these "homeless" pupae. Should be interesting.
A very rough head count amounted to at least 40 cocoons and perhaps as many lazy caterpillars ready to pupate. I'm still willing to share. Any takers?
On a related note, in the process of removing the skeletons of devoured White birch branches I was able to save several White birch seeds. I put them in a one gallon zip lock bag and refridgerated them in the hopes that stratifying will ready them for planting, maybe in a few months. I'd love to be able to grow these beautiful trees; the parent birch in my neighbor's yard is gorgeous.