Polyphemus Moth - Site LogoKevin Collison - Naturalist, Photographer, Educator, Moth and Reptile Breeder
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Giant silkmoths (saturniidae) always seem to fascinate people because they are large, beautiful, and most people seldom see them or even know they exist because of their short lifespans and nocturnal habits. Unlike butterflies, giant silkmoths (saturniidae) are fairly easy to breed. They are also a lot of fun because the caterpillars get very large (most over 3) and have such impressive adult size and coloration. There are a wide variety of these found throughout the world. I enjoy getting the chance to raise exotic ones. Some, such as the atlas moth, can have wingspans of up to 12 inches! I primarily stick to species found in Minnesota. There are a number of these moths found in Minnesota. Most of these have wingspans of 3 to 6 inches and come in a variety of colors and patterns. I raise a several of them:

  • Luna Moth (Actias Luna)

  •    Luna Moths Mating   Luna Moth   Luna Moth Caterpillar

  • Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)

  •    Polyphemus Moth   Polyphemus Caterpillar   Polyphemus Moth

  • Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

  •    Cecropia Moth   Cecropia Caterpillar   Cecropia Moth side view

  • Io Moth (automeris Io)

  •    Male Io Moth   Io Caterpillar   Male Io on Birch

  • Promethea moth (Callosamia promethea)

  •    Promethea Moth   Promethea Moth caterpillars making cocoons   Promethea Moth male side view

I sell offspring. I usually have cocoons available by late summer for $5 ea (cecropia $6). I charge $5 for shipping for each order regardless of quantity. In early summer I sell ova (eggs) for $15 for 20 and shipping is included in that price. If you are interested in ova, it would be a good idea to let me know by around mid to late May, because once the eggs have been laid they hatch in 7-14 days. So if you order ahead of time I can be certain to get them to you promptly, in enough time before they hatch. Please contact me for availability.

I have always enjoyed finding caterpillars, raising them to be butterflies, and then letting them go. I have found and raised a variety of butterflies. Here in Minnesota, the caterpillars that I have found to be the easiest to find and raise are monarchs, but I have done well with Tiger Swallowtails, Mourning Cloaks, Red Admirals, and Black Swallowtails too. Occasionally, I have these available. Please contact me as to what I currently have.

 Monarch Butterfly Eclosing
Monarch Butterfly Eclosing
 Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars
Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars
 Mourning Cloak Butterfly Caterpillar
Mourning Cloak Butterfly Caterpillar
 Black Swallowtail caterpillar
Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

One of my favorite websites that tells how to raise saturniidae caterpillars is http://www.geocities.com/mothman15/.