MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: My Luna Moth cacoon hatched and layed lots of eggs, Don't they mate?

Date: Tue Jun 29 14:16:06 2010
Posted By: David Richman, Staff, Entomology
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 1275191035.Zo

Female giant silkworm moths will lay infertile eggs within a short time
after emergence from the chrysalis if no males are present. From what I
know about the females, they have to lay eggs, fertile or not.  The
saturniids with which I have worked (range caterpillars) lived only 7-14
days as adults and the females started "calling" with pheromones within a
day or so.  If no males respond within a few days they begin laying.
However, your moth may have had some physiological problems if she did not
call before laying. 

Reference:  Veenakumari, K, P. Mohanraj, and R. S. Peigler. 1992. Life
History of Attacus mcmulleni (Saturniidae)from the Andaman Islands, India.
Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 31(3-4): 169-179). 

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