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Keith

A note about raising hornworms

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The captive bred hornworms raised on artificial diet take unusually long to shed their skin. I've seen a few 3 days not move and shed on the 4th day. You can tell they are ready to shed as the old head becomes clear and you can see the new black mandibles through it, also by the rear the skin fold will turn white indicating the old skin has seperated and it's time to shed! I wanted to say this because many people think they are dying when it just takes a long time to shed!

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I work in a lab and help maintain their colony of Manduca sexta. They're kept at around 27 degrees Celsius and they take about a day to molt from their fourth instar to their fifth instar. If kept outside of the incubator where it's colder, they take a several days to molt.

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