The season has proceeded to reach midsummer. Despite of the poor weather this year I’ve been lucky enough to find some caterpillars for raising. Here’s a status update on what’s in currently the jar (breeding cages or terrariums) and how far they are in the metamorphosis.
Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
A couple days ago the first caterpillar has pupated. I’ve been keeping the caterpillars on the balcony, and due to seriously poor weather (with temperatures as cold as 4 degrees Celsius) have given the caterpillars a hard time. So far two have dropped dead after they had stopped eating.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
The single caterpillar which I’ve been raising from egg has been doing well. It was feeding inside until I moved it out right before it pupated. The outside temperatures will regulate that the butterfly will hatch at the right time.
Death’s-head Hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos)
I received two mid-sized caterpillars from another breeder some time ago. In the meantime, one has pupated two days ago. The other one, which had been feeding on a potted plant on the balcony, has unfortunately disappeared. My assumption is that it dug itself into the soil of the pot due to the cold weather. I try to be optimistic and hope I’ll see it again on the plant once the weather gets better. It wasn’t accepting cut leafs like the other one and thus had to be kept on a living plant outside.
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
I obtained this species by finding eggs on a field nearby. The caterpillars have been feeding well and have also grown, reaching the size of about 1 cm so far.
The Map (Araschnia levana)
The tiny caterpillars which I found a week ago have been feeding well. They’ve gained in size and I’ve been able to get confirmation about the species. At the beginning I was not 100% sure if they really were caterpillars of the Map or if they could be from the European Peacock (Inachis io).
Scarce Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis xanthomelas)
The colony of about two dozen caterpillars has been feeding well. They gain size after they skinned a couple days ago.
Privet Hawk Moth (Sphinx ligustri)
I received three caterpillars of this species in exchange for some of the Scarce Tortoiseshell larva. All three have stopped eating and started to prepare for pupating.
From the chrysalises I had overwintering there’s still two left: An Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) and a Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi). I start having my doubt they’re not healthy and no butterfly may hatch. Both feel and look pretty healthy though, and it’s well possible the poor weather conditions can be blamed. Hopefully I’ll see both hatching once it’ll get warmer outside.
Chrysalis of the Common Brimstone
Chrysalis of the Red Admiral
Caterpillars of the Map
Caterpillars of the Scarce Tortoiseshell in a breeding cage
Chrysalis of the Death’s-head Hawkmoth