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cage

H. nevadensisAnother variation on an emerging cage for Lepidoptera. The point is to use available materials without spending money. This cage was constructed from an insulated styrofoam box; the kind that is used to airfreight fresh fish. You can get these boxes from your grocery store's seafood department. I cut out a window in the lid and glued in a piece of window screen using a hot glue gun. There is no hinge - I use No. 7 insect pins to secure the lid. This cage was specially constructed to house over 150 Hemilueca nevedensis pupae. In nature this moth pupates under loose soil. For this situation I needed to turn the box on its side to provide enough space for the 150 pupae. To create a substrate I put down a half inch layer of and soil first and then placed the pupae on top of the soil. I then covered them with a half inch of dried leaves. I glued small strips of styrofoam to the bottom of the cage to hold the substrate in place; so that I can open the cage without everything spilling out. The debris covering provides insulation from temperature extremes and helps prevent the pupae from drying out. The styrofoam sides have enough texture to allow the moths to climb up and dry their wings. I put in a few twigs for good measure. I keep the cage outdoors so that the moths can synchronize their biological clocks to the outside conditions. I mist the inside of cage every 2 weeks.

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