What To Do With Rosy Maple Eggs?
May 30, 2010
My 4 1/2 year old daughter and I visit your website regulary to identify new moths and bugs we find each morning around our house!
One of our favorites is the pink/yellow Rosy Maple Moth.
We found a rather large one yesterday and withing a few minutes of putting her into one of our bug houses, she began to lay eggs! Now 24 hours later she’s still working and is up to about 30 tiny yellow eggs on the walls of the habitat.
So our question is about what to do witht the eggs? Should we release Rosy after she’s done laying all of them?
If we leave the eggs alone in the bug house, will they hatch?
I’m assuming it might be too much to try and feed the larvae/catpillars for so long, so what kind of tree should we release them on after they hatch (if we’re so lucky)?
Thanks fo your help!
Mo & Skyler
Albany, New York (mid-state)

Rosy Maple Moth lays eggs

Dear Mo & Slyler,
Your letter contains so many wonderful questions.  You should not try to move the eggs because you may damage them.  Releasing the female moth after laying eggs will probably not matter since she will soon die.  Rosy Maple Moths, Dryocamps rubicunda, are members of the family Saturniidae, the Giant Silkmoths and Royal Moths, and they do not feed as adults since they have atrophied mouth parts.  Releasing her soon will allow her to continue to lay eggs near a proper food source for the caterpillars.  The eggs should hatch, provided the female mated.  If she was captured before mating, the eggs will not be viable.  The caterpillars should grow quickly.  To provide a learning experience, you can release most of the caterpillars, and try raising just a few.  The caterpillars will feed on the leaves of maple and oak trees.  If the name of a plant is incorporated into the common or scientific name for an insect, it is inevitable that the plant is part of the insect’s diet.

Hi Daniel:
Thanks for such a quick response!  I figured maple leaves might be as obvious as it is, but I wanted to be sure.   We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed the eggs are fertilized!

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