Just FYI, I sent you an email from here as I could not send you a PM. It was in reply to a question you had a couple weeks back. Just want to make sure you got it and I was not filtered out. My email is [email protected]
Of course it's okay.
I did get your e-mail and am sorry I haven't responded.
We were out of town for a bit and it's spring now so my
planting and plant aquisition business is in full swing.
Actually haven't found a lot of time to be on the computer lately.
I am not prepared to venture into any new lepidoptera right now but
I do have a sad or funny situation:
I currently have 58 silkmoth cocoons cooking of which 1 has hatched
(about 3 or 4 days ago) Poor thing just sits there waiting. I am hoping
some others will hatch before she dies.
When you say you have cocoons I ass me you are talking Bombyx (our feeder cocoons? They will come out, don;t worry. Then you'll have a lot of moth flirting, courting and well, actually, no courting, the make finds that female fast! Pheromones are great! I have had a male moths leave females when a "fresh" female ecloses from her shelter!! Then there are the moth orgies - lol!
That said, I always have about 10-20% unable to come out. This happens with chow-reared more than plant-reared. If you gently shake the cocoon and it feel full - like there is not space b/t the animal inside and its silken walls, you can very carefully (and with very sharp, small scissors) cut the very edge of an end. If you see a face, then snip the other end and cut from that direction (hold up to light and you can see what you're doing better) of you see brown, it is the cast off pupal skin and you can approach from that end. it's a tricky "surgery" and yes, sometimes there are casualties, but better than them dying in their silk prison You usually don't have to worry about it until you get near he end of emergence and you still have intact cocoons.
As for the other species I mentioned they are high maintenance summer caterpillars so it may not work for you.