Three weeks after the first cocoon was built, the first of the intrepid Free-Ride silk moths have emerged.
They are big. The Free-Ride offspring judge them cute. I haven't been fully convinced. But in time, I may come around.
Dr. Free-Ride's better half thinks the moth pictured directly above is male, while the two in the first picture are probably female (owing to their gigantic abdomens, which we presume are full of eggs awaiting fertilization).
Speaking of fertilization, we haven't seen any attempts at it yet. But it's quite likely the moths are tired out from their efforts to get out of their cocoons, and will be more interested in mating once they've rested.
In the meantime, there are 24 cocoons still to hatch.
Ummm... What is the brown goo?
Congrats on the "kids" and all that and thanks for the science in action, but... Did you preemptively douse them in soy sauce? Do vegetarians eat moths? What is that brown goo?
As near as we can tell, that brown goo is the silkmoth equivalent of meconium (aka newborn baby poo).
I'm hopeful that it will wash out of the silk of the cocoons when I try to salvage it for spinning.