Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Butterfly and Moth Site

Electra Silk Moth [Hemileuca electra] Adult Insect Images

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On 9-28-2005, the female which emerged on 9-26-2005 (pictorial below), was taken to near the type locality (Phelan, CA) for baiting wild males. After an hour of searching for suitable habitat, males on the wing were spotted and the female was set out for them. She had been refridgerated for the two days prior to this outing, and was somewhat off-cycle and not scenting noticably. Even so, males (first 3 images) could still detect her presence when they came near enough, and started close-range search behavior long enough to be netted. After a very successful 3-hour H. burnsi baiting adventure in a different location, we returned to same spot at about 5pm in hopes of spotting wild electra females making their ovipositing runs. Upon arrival we snagged two females in about 30 minutes. After that, the flight was apparently done for the day. The 4th image shows one of the females captured. She oviposited the remainder of her eggs over the next two days then died and was mounted, still in very good condition.

Here are a couple of hi-res shots of an ex-pupa male specimen, recto and verso (left two images, 9-25-2005) a female (3rd image, 9-26-2005), and the pair together to illustrate the size and shape differences.

This female eclosed 9-26-2005 and I was fortunate enough to be onhand. The sequence below visually details the process. Caution - some of these images are very large!

On 9-17-2005, this male eclosed some time during the early morning (prior to 7:30am) and was found in the emerging cage with wings already expanded.

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