Anyone raise Chinese Oak Silkmoths?

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by Twitchet, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    There's some eggs of the Chinese Oak Silkmoth Antheraea pernyi for sale here and wondered if the larvae would be suitable as food- they are slightly hairy but nice and big.
    Has anyone kept/bred/ fed them? Are the easy/poisonous/difficult?
    Thanks all
    chinese silk.jpg
  2. Remkon

    Remkon Chameleon Enthusiast

    You should lick one to see if their hairs sting!
    Or, better yet, dare someone else to lick one so you don't die if it turns out to be extremely poisenous.
    LucyLoo, Twitchet and jpowell86 like this.
  3. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    Excellent advice Remko, that caused quite a chuckle. Now I'll have to find a victim to try your theory out on.
  4. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    Would you like a few? ;):D
  5. Andee

    Andee Chameleon Enthusiast

    Yeah the only thing I would worry about is the hairs would be irritating.
    Twitchet likes this.
  6. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    Just bought 40 eggs so I'll raise them anyway and it should be something interesting to do, will try them myself:p before I offer to a chameleon though.:)
  7. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Established Member

    I did a google search for Antheraea pernyi toxicity (which I imagine you did too) and didn't find much of anything. I searched "" edible and did find that the pupae are eaten by people in China.
    Twitchet likes this.
  8. Matt Vanilla Gorilla

    Matt Vanilla Gorilla Chameleon Enthusiast

    As far as I know they are safe. Their hair seems soft not hard and thorney. I wonder if @Extensionofgreen knows for sure? He has a wealth of knowledge!
    Twitchet likes this.
  9. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Established Member

    Where did you buy the eggs?
  10. Extensionofgreen

    Extensionofgreen Chameleon Enthusiast

    My thoughts are that the hairs are of minimal concern, as there are no warning colors and there aren't that many. With oak as a primary food source, I'd be mindful of feeding them as a primary feeder. Oaks are high in tannins and tannins bind the absorption of some nutrients.
  11. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Established Member

    I'm betting those big moths would be an amazing treat for the larger species.
    Sloppysponge and Twitchet like this.
  12. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    Thanks Joe, I didn't see that they are food for people, very interesting. Thanks for your research.:)
  13. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    One of the reasons I got these was their ease of care, popular species for schools, and their willingness to eat just about anything it seems, Apple, oak, privet, willow, sweet chestnut. Whenever I've looked at keeping moths before food plants are always willow or privet, both of which we don't have.
    My head was turned with these when I saw they ate sweet chestnut as we live on/by a 500 year old sweet chestnut plantation and there's stacks of it.yay.
    The chestnut has tannins too so I'd maybe have a feeder group and feed Apple.
    They will probably be pets but maybe next generation food, imagine a Parsons with one of them!

    Thanks all for your advice, appreciate it very much.
  14. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Established Member

    Where can I buy eggs myself?
  15. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    Hi Joe- I'm in the U.K- I'm guessing you are in the U.S so I'm afraid I don't know- maybe someone else will have some ideas- Mine were on Ebay, you get some quite unusual species of sticks and mantids etc crop up on there from time to time.
    Good luck in your search..
  16. AZChamFan

    AZChamFan Avid Member

    There is a website called InsectNet. It is a site for those who collect insects as a hobby. They have a forum where you could ask about this - I know there are quite a few members there (from various countries) who rear silkmoths as a hobby. You can also look in their classifieds at the livestock section of Lepidoptera. There are many offers from various countries. You might not find this exact species but it's a start, and there may be other species of silkmoth which would work equally as well.

    The family of Saturniidae contains a huge number of similar large moths.
    #16 AZChamFan, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
    Twitchet likes this.
  17. poison

    poison Avid Member

    Hi, I know nothing about these things but I just want to comment on the hairs. Idk if you've ever kept a tarantula but their hairs are also not hard and thorny but instead very fine and are able to pierce and severally irritate the skin. Just thought I'd throw that out there as this can be the case with these
    #17 poison, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
    Twitchet likes this.
  18. AZChamFan

    AZChamFan Avid Member

    Have to agree that if I were going to feed these I'd make absolutely sure the spines are harmless first, as many caterpillars do indeed have poisonous or urticating hairs.

    I have posted an inquiry on the InsectNet forum (since I already belong anyways) about this. I will report back if anyone gives a good reply!!!
    Twitchet likes this.
  19. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    Thanks very much for the enquiry, hopefully it will benefit us all. I was looking for info and whilst peole were discussing the care and breeding of these - they were actually going to be breeding a hybrid which they said would be larger than th chinese oak- someone mentioned' they'll be a good size to feed to my cham' sadly this must of been mentioned in a previous post which i couldn't find so the trail went dead.
    Thanks again for any info.
  20. Twitchet

    Twitchet Chameleon Enthusiast

    So update- I did buy 40 eggs off ebay- 32 hatched and are doing well, very easy to care for.

    32 little black wigglies hatched out and so protective of them and so excited was I that I forgot that they turn green after the first molt. - re the picture I submitted at the beginning-:rolleyes:
    So I'm looking in the nursery and I see a green caterpillar- I decided that it was a yet to be discovered chinese-oak-moth-larva-eating native species and killed it, :eek: then the next day there was like 4 more, until the penny slowly dropped- thank god I didn't go on a killing spree, I'd have none left.
    Probably my dumbest moment!
    So hopefully they pupate and emerge this autumn, I don't think they are at all suitable for feeders as they are hairy and I'm feeding this lot with oak but I'm enjoying keeping them as pets. Kept a few moths as a child so am very excited.

    JacksJill likes this.

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