Pupa set up for sphinx moths





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Published on Sep 5, 2008

The transition from caterpillar to cocoon or pupa can be the most difficult stage when rasing hornworms or sphinx moths. Sphinx moths are earth pupators meaning they need soil to pupate in. Once your caterpillar is full sized and stopped eating put him in a tank with six inches of soil deep. He'll dig in and form a chamber. It can take a week for him to shed his skin and become a pupa. Or about 7-10 days. So be patient. Once the pupa hardens you can leave him in the soil or dig him up. If you leave him in the soil be sure to have a little bit of air space at the top of the tank because he'll dig his way out.

I prefer to dig them up because if I'm not home when they emerge their wings will expand and if they don't have a place to climb and hang from they'll get crumpled and won't survive in the wild. The second tank set up is for emerged moths to dry their wings. After they become pupas it can take another week or two before they emerge and you can see them through the cocoon. It's really neat. Hope this will be helpful and you will have fun rasing something different than a monarch butterfly.

Thank you for the nice comments. Have moved to new account Thagirion9
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