Thursday, 6 August 2015

Pupa 2015-1

The first larva pupated last night. Its container-mate has started the process by climbing to the lid of the container.
Two of the three larvae in the Bug Bottle have also climbed to the lid.
While the last of this group of 5 larvae (2015-5) continues to devour milkweed leaves. The red arrow is pointing to the last shedding of skin of 2015-1. I added a stick to each container to give them something slanted and easier to climb on - other than the vertical sides of the container.
Here's 2015-5 as compared to the size of my index finger and thumb. 2015-1's shed skin is hanging from a fibre on this milkweed.
This morning, 2015-2 is in its j-posture, preparing to shed its last skin and create the chrysalis. Fine filaments are used to adhere them to the lid are visible now. It's like a silk pad. When it does the j-formation, it wriggles around to loosen the final layer of skin. After this a 'post' called a cremaster that attaches to the silk pad forms that has little barbs on the end and with more wriggling, hooks into the silk pad much like hook and loop tape (aka Velcro TM) works. As a result it is firmly attached and will hang in that position for about 10 days.
The 12 hour old chrysalis of 2015-1 has now formed the lovely gold dots around the edge.

I like this stage because I don't have to run out and find milkweed a couple of times a day to feed them. And there's no more of their poop to remove from the container.

However, the other 5 (Pupae 2015-6 through 2015-10) that have hatched are grown by leaps and bounds and are still in their separate nurseries (canning jars). I do need to give them fresh milkweed (with the stem wrapped in wet paper towel) every couple of days. Soon the feedings will be daily. Then I'll be able to put them together in containers and go through the rest of the larval process again.

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