Emily found several dozen Hemileuca caterpillars on June 20, 2009, on some shrubby willows.Â They were at Bush Lake Park, in Bloomington, Minnesota (Hennepin County).Â The willows are probably Salix exigua – Sandbar Willows (thanks to John Pearson for the ID).
Emily fed them willow leaves, and they pupated in mid-July.
They began to emerge in mid-September.Â This is a newly emerged female, on 9/14/09
A series of the same female, showing her pumping up her wings.
When they first emerge, they spend a lot of time finding the perfectÂ place to pump up their wings.Â Here’s some video of a newly emerged male, climbing around, trying to find a spot.
And here are some photos of a different male shortly after emerging.Â September 17, 2009
We weren’t able to attract mates for any of the moths, so after a few days of trying, we released them into a few different wild areas with willows, in hopes that they would find mates there.
Marcie O’Connor and Emily Tenczar
Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota