Observations on the life history of the sagebrush sheep moth, Hemileuca hera hera (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)
MetadataShow full item record
This study was conducted principally to investigate the suggestion that length of growing season influences the length of development time (i.e. one-year versus two-year egg to adult period). Field-collected sagebrush sheep moth (H. hera hera) larvae were reared to obtain information on egg counts and length of life cycle. Field-collected larvae were reared in cages within the area from which the larvae had been collected to match closely the natural conditions. Results indicate that in south-central Washington, USA, an area having a relatively long growing season, H. hera hera generally exhibits a one year cycle, with some individuals emerging in the second year. Egg counts revealed a mean total number of eggs per female of 125 (range 64-168) and a mean number of eggs per ring of 28 for reared females and 31 for egg rings observed in the field. Our study indicates that while an extended, milder climate is a significant factor in a single season development time, other factors that have longer term survival significance may also play roles.