Manduca 'Hornworm' large pupa feeding box

Here's a quick look at my 'arts 'n craft' project tonight. I can't take all the credit for this as I got the idea from this great website http://www.manducaproject.com/

I got a tubberwear container from the dollar store and cut a rather large slit in the top of and hot glued screen over it to allow airflow into the box. I then cut some plastic pvc screen that I use to build my enclosures with and shaped it to make a tray that sits off the bottom of the box by an inch or so. Ontop of this screen grating I put the food and the larger worms.

I raise the baby worms until they get to about an inch in length or so and start crowding each other in the supplied container they are shipped in. After they start getting rather large I move them into this box. Their waste falls below onto paper towels so the daily cleaning is rather simple. There is always a few worms that fall through and I pick them out and place them back up near their food when I do my daily cleaning.

My hornworms are days away from starting to pupate into their cocoons in which time I will remove them from this box and wrap them in paper towels and store them in a different container. I will keep my progress on rearing/breeding them updated on this thread so feel free to subscribe.













 
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laurie

Retired Moderator
Hey are you ordering dryed food or making your own? I might like to try your method but I am not sure how much the price of the food is. Keep us updated.:)
 

nacho

New Member
Very Nice project, I saw the site as well and was thinking of doing the same. keep us posted...
 

pssh

Avid Member
Those are larvae. The larvae need soil or some other form of covering (like papertowels) to pupate into the pupa. I find that this method is a pain in the butt. Since thescreen stuff doesn't hold the shape when you lift it out it opens up again, which sometimes causes poopies to fling out. Then the box has to be cleaned out. Sometimes the poops are stepped on while fresh and get smooshed. I find that a paper towel helps take care of that.

What I like is to turn the box upside down and use it as a cover. Make some vents in the bottom of course. Use a stiff material or form it in such a way that it won't open up, and put it on top of the lid, which has a paper towel on it already. Just use the bottom half of the box to cover them up. It's easier to just lift the cover, get the paper towel from the lid, replace it, and recover them.
 
Hey are you ordering dryed food or making your own? I might like to try your method but I am not sure how much the price of the food is. Keep us updated.:)
I actually feed them silk worm chow as they will eat it and the silkies will eat it too. I find it easier to order the dry mix that feeds both rather than two different dry mixes.
 
Those are larvae. The larvae need soil or some other form of covering (like papertowels) to pupate into the pupa. I find that this method is a pain in the butt. Since thescreen stuff doesn't hold the shape when you lift it out it opens up again, which sometimes causes poopies to fling out. Then the box has to be cleaned out. Sometimes the poops are stepped on while fresh and get smooshed. I find that a paper towel helps take care of that.

What I like is to turn the box upside down and use it as a cover. Make some vents in the bottom of course. Use a stiff material or form it in such a way that it won't open up, and put it on top of the lid, which has a paper towel on it already. Just use the bottom half of the box to cover them up. It's easier to just lift the cover, get the paper towel from the lid, replace it, and recover them.
I'm sorting them out by hand and wrapping the in paper towels for them to pupate for now.

That's a great setup idea! My grating doesn't seem to pop open when I lift it out of the Tupperware because I zipped the corners together. So far so good, but if things start going wrong I will try your method.

Right now, I'm waiting until they start to shrink some and the dark blue vein in their backs becomes really really evident. Am I waiting too long? Should I cover them now?
 

pssh

Avid Member
Eh. I leave a small tub of soil in the corner. They find it, and I find them half way in with their butt out :)
 

pssh

Avid Member
It was pretty funny the first time it happened. :) now it's just easier for me because I just pull them out and put them in the other container. :)

Did you know you can sex them too? I happen to have a crazy male:female ratio. Of 23:6 right now :( I'm just going to feed off the extra males though.
 

pssh

Avid Member
I'll try to explain it, but you will probably find a link on google if you search sexing manduca sexta pupae

Anywho, look at the butt end. There is a distinct anus, look at the segment above that. If there are two teeny lumps it's a boy, if it is smooth and the next segment up has a small line or indent then it's a girl.
 

ladysilkworm

New Member
I'll try to explain it, but you will probably find a link on google if you search sexing manduca sexta pupae

Anywho, look at the butt end. There is a distinct anus, look at the segment above that. If there are two teeny lumps it's a boy, if it is smooth and the next segment up has a small line or indent then it's a girl.
hey pssh.. when can you start sexing them?? My friend and I both ordered some from great horn lakes and ALL Of them turned out to be females.. he got 3 and I got 7.. makes me wonder if they are specifically done that way. :mad:
 

ladysilkworm

New Member
Here's a quick look at my 'arts 'n craft' project tonight. I can't take all the credit for this as I got the idea from this great website http://www.manducaproject.com/

I got a tubberwear container from the dollar store and cut a rather large slit in the top of and hot glued screen over it to allow airflow into the box. I then cut some plastic pvc screen that I use to build my enclosures with and shaped it to make a tray that sits off the bottom of the box by an inch or so. Ontop of this screen grating I put the food and the larger worms.

I raise the baby worms until they get to about an inch in length or so and start crowding each other in the supplied container they are shipped in. After they start getting rather large I move them into this box. Their waste falls below onto paper towels so the daily cleaning is rather simple. There is always a few worms that fall through and I pick them out and place them back up near their food when I do my daily cleaning.

My hornworms are days away from starting to pupate into their cocoons in which time I will remove them from this box and wrap them in paper towels and store them in a different container. I will keep my progress on rearing/breeding them updated on this thread so feel free to subscribe.














Very neat!! Do you keep the silkies the same way?? Just be careful of the water droplets, they are a sure killer to the silkworms!

Btw, is that mulberry chow you are feeding them?? If you google more, you can find home made hornworm chow that are very easily obtainable and cheap too!
 
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No I have no attempted this setup with the silkies yet but I certainly did think about it. So far i'm having great success with the hornworms and this setup. Yes it is the mulberry farms chow that I'm using right now, but what I've read online is that it is actually cheaper to buy the chow then to make it yourself. Is this not true?
 

pssh

Avid Member
You can for sure sex them as soon as they pupate. In the 5th instar you may begin to get an 'eye' for which are more likely to be males and which are likely to be females. That is after you've sexed a lot and observed a lot though.

Too bad you don't still have the females! Since I have a massive amount of males I could have sent you some. :)

OP, there is a recipe online somewhere that is made completely from things you can find at a grocery store.
 
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