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Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

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Overwintering caterpillars

Not often have I tried to overwinter caterpillars but when I have, I've failed. This year, not exactly intentional, I'm trying to rear various eggs collected in August. Last night (09-28-18) we had a first frost so a hard frost will be coming.
What do I do with the cats?
I can't just suddenly cut off their food (because there isn't any) and stick them in the fridge as I would pupae (usually end of October).
Thank you for any advice and help.

Just wondering how things turned out....
Did you end up trying several options?

 
What I did
was clean out the rotting plants and excess frass but leave some plant material (as moisture?), add some milled peat, move them to the garage (which was colder than the house) for a week or so, took a look at them, still cats, and then put them into the fridge. I "plan" (best laid plans you know) to check them again this winter, take them out in the spring and see what happened/happens. If nothing else I'll learn how this doesn't work.

I did the same thing to each batch (different species). I would have liked to vary what I did but actually couldn't think of other ways to handle it. What was new this time was leaving plant material in the container.

Your post reminded me to wipe out extra moisture in the jars. In one there were 2 pupae that were not there when they went into the fridge. In another a couple of larvae that looked alive. In another, a larva laying ventral side up, not good. And in another tiny larvae, when touched with a brush, did more, albeit ever so slowly.

In all the egg containers the pieces of sponges were completely dry so I moistened them.

Thanks for the reminder!

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