so I went back to check on my attacus atlas this morning and found her in the exact same position as she had been last night but, unfortunately, not a single male in sight. I shook the netting slightly to see if she had expired and found instead that she had been rather busy, depositing her eggs on the cage wall. Now, I really didn't think much of this (because many moths are quite prone to laying their eggs just about anywhere and everywhere when captured) but I later read, right before I was about to toss out the unfertilized eggs, that Atlas Moths may in fact be capable of reproducing parthenogenetically! Now how about that!!! Of course this piqued my interest quite intensely and I am still in the process of sourcing information to get this verified (or debunked) but it would be quite amazing, I think, to be able to raise a batch of parthenogenetically produced females and try the whole baiting thing again this time with more individuals that would hopefully mean greater chances of attracting a male as I would be increasing significantly the output source of female pheremones in my area!
|Atlas moth in her cage early this morning. If you look real closely you may see two eggs that she'd laid.|
That being said, though I am very hopeful that these eggs will yield some results, I am also rather skeptical as well (this is the first I'm hearing about parthenogenesis in Saturniidae). I guess all there is to do right now is sit and be patient. And, as they say, don't count my eggs before they have hatched!!!