One of my brothers found a Cecropia cocoon and brought it home so his family could watch the moth emerge. They released it on their deck once it was ready to fly, but it liked the spot and stayed there, immediately going about attracting a mate. The females attract males by releasing pheromones, so it works to it’s advantage to stay put once it finds a good spot. Studies show that the male can home in on the female’s pheromones from over 7 miles away!
She was successful, and the next day found her busy on the deck with a male. Since my brother and his family were going on vacation shortly after this and wouldn’t be able to watch it lay eggs, he wondered if I was interested in “baby sitting.”
I didn’t have long to wait. Within a couple days the female was laying eggs. Unfortunately, I was at work and wasn’t able to capture that shot. It was, however, quite a prolific egg layer and I could see I would be busy with feeding, cleaning up after, and taking pictures of little caterpillars!
Within another few days, small black caterpillars began hatching from the eggs. Stay tuned for more pictures of the caterpillars as they grow!