Since first finding a new colony of Small Eggar on my patch back in 2017 I have been hoping to finally see an adult moth. Finding the colony was a very significant find as the species is thought to be extinct in West Sussex and not far off that in East Sussex.
The larval webs are large and obvious, a bit of a problem for them if any Cuckoos are about I guess as each larva would be a tasty snack. Each web can hold large numbers of the larva and as last year I found 58 webs I decided that there were so many larvae I could try and rear a few through to adult moths, which could well be the only way I would ever see an adult as the colony is almost certainly too far away for one to make it to the garden trap.
In the end I brought 7 near fully grown larvae home to rear. One that I called Houdini somehow managed to escape, but the other 6 all eventually pupated and then it was a waiting game hoping they would hatch in the following Spring. This species have been known to stay as a pupa for several years and it is thought that most take 2 years to hatch in the wild.
Of the 6 pupa I have now had 3 emerge as adult moths, 2 male and 1 female. I was hoping that the female would be mated by one of the males but unfortunately neither male seemed interested??
I have been holding back posting this in case the others hatch, but with it being 2 weeks since the 3 hatched it looks as though either they are not going to hatch at all or it will be another year before they do. I was also hoping to find an egg mass on the bushes where the webs were last year.