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Actias Luna wing deformation

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I’m not sure if anyone here has butterfly/moth knowledge, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

My lunas are finally starting to emerge after all of those weeks of care, although I’ve noticed that all of them so far have emerged with some form of wing deformation. The first to emerge came out with his wings completely crumpled, the second seemed mostly fine, and the third has curled tails. Did I do something wrong in raising them? Or was this outcome out of my control?

Some details of their upbringing: They refused the first host plant I provided, so hatchlings went a day without food. One died shortly after feeding for the first time due to unknown reasons. It suddenly stopped eating, started getting lethargic, and eventually died after its backside turned black. While the group was in its 3rd instar, one contracted what I thought to be NPV, and died shortly after. Removed it ASAP so that the rest might be spared from the virus. No more infections after the first. In their 5th instar, two caterpillars got in a scuffle (which resulted in visible scarring and vomit on both cats). Both survived, though I am wondering if those were the two crumpled males. I live in a very dry area, though I’m not sure if this will affect them. They’ve been raised completely indoors.

If anyone might know why this happened, or know somewhere that I ask this same question with better chances of an answer, I’d greatly appreciate a point in the right direction! I’ve never raised Actias luna  before, this is my first time. I’d love to know more for next time^^

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Interesting. Probably out of your control. A day without food is not going to harm a larva. It might have been an issue with the food plant altogether, 

I've raised luna before, indoors on Alnus rubra, and Liquidamber respectively, they did not do well with the Red alder, with the Sweetgum, that's

a no brainer,  they all matured, and I sold the cocoons.

An argument between larva isn't going to affect the adults,.

Keep at it- it's a learning process. Try Insectnet.com for more lepidoptera information.

Things that can affect A. luna- light cycle, meaning day length, they can be multi-brooded and are subject to day length, also the diapause, it's temperature and 

the length of it. Don't fall for "inbreeding" as a reason, at least not until F12+...

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When I reared Actias luna, I didn't have much problems other than when reared in small container, or a container with slippery walls where newly emerged moths cannot stayed on to completely widen their wings... They do need some large containers when they are in pupal stage so they can climb up to when they emerge out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice, glad you figured it out. Humidity is often overlooked. I have a special cage I use for increasing humidity made from plastic

panels, I've even used a fogger before for different species.

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