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Elephant hawk moth panic (1 Viewer)


Hi all,

My partner and I have successfully reared an elephant hawk moth, following advice from this forum, which we took in at the end of last year.

She has emerged today and is currently spreading her wings to dry.

What do we do?! We thought she shouldn't come out until May. Is this incredibly early or normal for a captivity moth? I'm concerned releasing her when she's ready will kill her as she'll be too cold.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!



Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Maybe you should have kep the pupae refrigerated?

I think the best and probably only thing you can do is release it and let it take it's chances?

Martin or Shane may tell you if it can be kept in torpor in the fridge (not the freezer!) to prolong it's captivity before a later realease? Two weeks if it can survive so long (which I doubt) can make a big difference especially to overnight temperatures.

Just to add that the next few days are set to be amongst the coldest of the winter so far.



Well-known member
I wouldn't release it yet as that would be almost certain death as it's too cold for it to fly.
I would refrigerate it (the salad comartment is best). You might also try the occasional cotton bud soaked in honey water to try and coax it through the next few weeks.
Howeve, I'm afraid it's one of the perils of rearing indoors. The pupa would have been better placed outdoors in a frost-free spot to let it emerge at its 'normal' time.
If it does die in captitvity to might offer it to a local school for a nature class, or similar (if they have them these days!).
Good luck


Well-known member
When I raised caterpillars as a child, moths would often emerge from the pupae in the depths of winter instead of spring or summer. The warm temperatures of the indoors encourage them to emerge, clearly...


Active member
When I was a child my dad helped me make a "cage" to hold & protect pupae outside so that hatched at the right time. It needs to be big enough to allow their wings to stretch & dry

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