Growing Moths

Growing Moths Text Book Picture

Title: Growing Moths

4-H Members Guide M-6-6.
1975. Robert Dirig. NYS College of Ag. and Life Sciences, Cornell University.
To request a copy (pdf file), contact


A project guide for 4-H Entomology members interested in raising moths from egg to adult. The booklet explains what a moth is, how to identify the larger species to family or group, and reviews the life cycle; tells how to find and catch the adults, how to tell males from females, how to obtain and handle eggs, rear the caterpillars, keep cocoons or pupae, and have the adults emerge. A three-page table, “Hints for Growing Some Well Known New York Moths,” gives information on food plants, egg hatching time, larval duration, pupa type and duration, and over-wintering stage for 27 species. Exhibit and experiment suggestions are included as well as a list of references and biological supply companies. The last chapter “Suggestion for Teaching about Moths,” is directed toward leaders, junior leaders, teachers, naturalists, scout leaders, and others who will use the booklet. There are 48 illustrations and a color cover.

Requirements for project completion:

  1. Rear at least 4 species of N.Y. moths from egg to adult; grow moths belonging to at least 2 of the 5 groups considered in the booklet
  2. Keep accurate data records — when eggs hatched, # days as larvae, when pupated, when adult emerged
  3. Preserve or photograph the 4 stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult) of each moth grown

Delivery Modes

Club, school, individual members


4-H members interested in working with living insects (suggested age 12 and up), parents, school teachers, science museum workers, teacher-naturalists, scout leaders and others who teach natural science to young people in your county.

Primary Resources

  • M-6-6 Growing Moths
  • M-6-7 Labeling and Storing an Insect Collection (currently out of print.  To request a pdf copy, contact:
  • M-6-8 Some Butterflies and Moths (click on title to download 40-page pdf; color photographs and short descriptions of 49 species)

Resource Person

Carolyn Klass, 4-H Entomology Project Leader
Department of Entomology, Cornell University