Friday, 14 July 2017

Silkmoth of the week: Samia luzonica

Ever wondered why you so rarely see other Samia species in captivity? Other then ricini or cynthia I mean. Easy. For many of these species, the pupal stage is very short and the moths have the nasty habit of emerging in the mail. The import of species like Samia luzonica, from the Philipinnes, is actually a rather big risk. More then one hobby breeder has lost a lot of money this way. As you are never sure how old the cocoons are that you're trying to import, it's always safer to get them by express delivery, which will cost you an awful lot of money. But that's usually how it goes: if you want something rare or different from what's offered over and over again then you have to be willing to pay the excessive shipping costs. Unless you buy wholesale quantities, the shipping costs often are higher then the total value of all the cocoons in the shipment.  Yep, breeding moths can be a very expensive hobby.
Back to Samia luzonica now. This is one of the two philipinnian representatives of the Samia genus and occurs on most of the islands, except Palawan. The second species, treadawayi, only occurs on Palawan. The wingspan is between ten and twelve centimeter. Males and females can be distinguished by the much larger body of the female (twice the size of that of the male) and the somewhat less elegant appearance. This species broods continuously.


Samia luzonica male
Samia luzonica male - Origin: Philippines

Samia luzonica male
Samia luzonica male - Origin: Philippines

Samia luzonica female
Samia luzonica female - Origin: Philippines