HELP: Vine hawk moth

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lilium_blake
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Postlilium_blake on 8/11/2017, 12:48 am

Is there any way to tell if a vine hawk moth has finished inflating it's wings?

I have had a vine hawk moth chrysalis in a jar in my bathroom for a few weeks. I wasn't sure if it was alive or dead. But since it had been so long I figured it was in dipause (it's winter here).

I went away for 2 nights and when I got back the moth had emerged. It was right next to it's chrysalis but not inside it. The chrysalis ?joints? are still flexible, it hasn't dried yet.

I noticed straight away, and I checked before I left. So the absolute maximum time the moth's been in the jar is 48 hours (in which case it's screwed). But I'm hoping I caught it just as it emerged.

I took it out as the jar was too small for it to spread it's wings out. I know it's not ideal to move them after they emerge, but there wasn't space for it to properly inflate it's wings. (I was planning on putting it in an enclosure to emerge, once it got warmer here, I wasn't expecting it to happen so soon)

It's wings are quite crumpled but don't look damaged. They still look folded up like they do just after they emerge. Obviously I don't want to touch them to see if they're dry but they don't look crispy or anything. They could still be inflating.

Is there any way I can tell? And is there anything I can do to help it? I've put a little spoon of watermelon juice next to it in case it's dehydrated.
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mothman27
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Postmothman27 on 8/13/2017, 1:14 pm

It likely hatched during thew winter due to being kept indoors. I would look to see if the abdomen is unnaturally large still. I'm sure by now you can tell whether the wings have successfully inflated. Moths wing inflate rather quickly. For large moths there will be some liquid in the tip of the pupa right after emergence.

Tim

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fords8
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Postfords8 on 11/8/2017, 8:31 am

Thanks for the info. Please keep us up to date if you can.

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