then, when I checked on them again this evening found them detached, but still close together on the same cocoon. Unable to decide which was male and which was female, I pulled them gently away from the cocoon and placed them on some newspaper in their own private place.
Now the female moth is supposed to be larger than the male, but the smaller one seeemed to have the fatter more feminine body.
'I think the big one is the female,' I said to Hodmandod Senior, 'but it's difficult to tell, isn't it?'
'Well I think it's the other one,' he said, 'because she's the one laying the eggs.'
And so she was, one after the next, tiny pale yellow thing the size of pin heads, conveniently on the black print of the newspaper.
I have left her in peace to finish her work - by the time she finishes there may be close to 400 of them. Getting them to hatch sounds like it might be the most difficult task of all.