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National Moth Week photos of insects and people. Here's how to add your images.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

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

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa


Southern Flannel Moth Cocoon/Pupae question

Hello, I am wondering about the extraction of the pupae from Megalopyge opercularis cocoons. I currently have ~6 cocoons on my fence, the most recent one was just spun yesterday with the caterpillar clearly inside working away. I managed to find one caterpillar on my fence which had not yet begun making a cocoon, so I took it, put it in a net, and it began making one that evening.

For the rest on the fence, I am wondering if it would be difficult to cut open the cocoons and keep the pupae in separate containers? This seems to be a rare opportunity, as I can find only a handful of photos of the pupae out there. There must be a reason, perhaps you can still be stung by the hairs in/around the cocoon? Maybe because the caterpillar is deemed dangerous, few are willing to contain them? Is it otherwise difficult to remove the pupae?

According to this page http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/moths/puss.htm "Individuals of the fall generation overwinter as larvae (prepupae) and pupate in late spring of the next year." Should I worry about waiting to open the cocoons? It looks like Jeff Hollenbeck was able to open a cocoon pre-pupa and it successfully pupated here https://bugguide.net/node/view/94027/bgimage . I am aware that if I have to deal with the pre-pupa, the spines would still pose a risk.