Currently viewing the tag: "Buggy Life Cycles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: West Los Angeles sighting – Monarch 1
Location: West Los Angeles
July 6, 2017 8:26 am
Hi Bugman,
Here’s the first set of pictures of Monarchs
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Mating Monarch Butterflies

Dear Jeff,
Thank you so much for sending your gorgeous images documenting the complete life cycle of the Monarch butterfly.  It is going to take us a healthy chunk of time to format all your images and set up the posting properly so we are just starting by posting an image of a mating pair of Monarchs.  The male is the individual with the open wings, and the female appears to have been tagged because her hind wings have what appears to be an inked marking.  We can also identify the male, according to BugGuide, because:  “Males have scent-scale patches on hindwings, prominent when wings are open, and just possible to see when wings are folded.”  Over the course of the day, we hope to get all your excellent images added to the posting.

Male Monarch

Hi Daniel,
I don’t have complete life cycles for the rest of the butterflies that have graced our back yard, but I’ll send in what I have.  Regarding the Marine Blue, I can resend them with the other pics.  The ones I sent seemed to have unusual coloring.
By the way, I want to thank you for so graciously accepting my pictures.  It makes me happy to be able to share them.
Jeff

Female Monarch

Nectaring Monarchs

Ovipositing Female Monarch

Monarch Egg

Monarch Caterpillar Hatchling

Monarch Caterpillar

Prepupal Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Chrysalis

Monarch Chrysalis (adult about to emerge)

Newly Eclosed Monarch

Emerged Adult Monarch

Monarch Nursery

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: West Los Angeles sighting – Gulf Fritilary – 1
Location: West Los Angeles
June 20, 2017 1:52 pm
Hi Bugman,
Here’s the next set of pictures. Hope you enjoy them.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Mating Gulf Fritillaries

Dear Jeff,
It is going to take a chunk of time to correctly edit the posting to contain your awesome images depicting the life cycle of the Gulf Fritillary,
Agraulis vanillae, a common Southern California butterfly.  We have decided to begin the posting with your awesome image of a pair of mating Gulf Fritillaries, a logical place to begin a life cycle, and we will add to the posting as we reformat your images. This has prompted us to initiate a new tag of Buggy Life Cycles to house both this and your previous Anise Swallowtail documentation.

Gulf Fritillary ovipositing on passionvine.

Hatchling Gulf Fritillary caterpillar (right)

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar with, possibly, a parasitic Wasp (right)

Hi Daniel,
This is the second time you’ve spotted a parasitic wasp in one of my pictures.  Is there anything I can, or should, do about this?  I understand the wasp has as much right to exist as the butterflies, but I can’t help feeling protective over the caterpillars.
Thx, Jeff

Gulf Fritillary Chrysalis

Sorry Jeff,
We can’t think of a way for you to protect the early stages of butterflies from parasitoids unless you raise the caterpillars in a container with a fine mesh screen.

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Our editorial staff will be on holiday for a few weeks, so we are post-dating submissions to go live during our absence.  We hope you enjoy this gorgeous series of images of the life cycle of the Anise Swallowtail

Subject: West Los Angeles sighting – Anise Swallow Tail #1
Location: West Los Angeles
June 1, 2017 12:19 pm
Hi Daniel,
Here’s the first of my sets of pictures you asked me to trickle in. Since I can attach only 3 images, I’m going to send in 4 sets for the swallow tail. If this is too much, please let me know.
Hope you enjoy these.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Anise Swallowtail Eggs

Thanks Jeff,
We will put together a nice life cycle posting with the images you have sent.  We will distill them down to the best images and we will postdate your submission so it goes live during our absence mid month.  We feel we have to provide you with a challenge though.  Your spectacular life cycle images are lacking critical two stages.  We hope someday you can capture the actual emergence of the adult from the chrysalis, and of course, we always love to post images of mating insects to our Bug Love page.

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar: Early Instar

Newly hatched Anise Swallowtails somewhat resemble bird droppings which may help to camouflage them from predators.

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillars

As they grow and molt, later instars of the Anise Swallowtail Caterillar take on the characteristic green color with black and yellow spots.

Anise Swallowtail with Osmetrium

When threatened, the Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar reveals its osmetrium, a forked orange organ that releases a foul smell to deter predators.

Prepupal Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar

As pupation time nears, the Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar spins a silken girdle to help keep it from hanging down.

Anise Swallowtail Chrysalis with Chalcid Wasp

This Anise Swallowtail Chrysalis is being visited by a parasitoid Chalcid Wasp.  Here is a posting from BugGuide that shows a close-up of the Chalcid Wasp.  Butterfly Fun Facts has an excellent description of this Parasitoid, including:  “A healthy chrysalis will have light membranes between its abdominal segments. As wasps grow inside the chrysalis, the membranes turn dark.  Infected chrysalises turn darker and often have a reddish tinge to them.  Remember! When a chrysalis is first infected (eggs laid in the chrysalis) it will appear healthy, have the correct colors and shades, and will move normal. Once the wasp larvae have grown for a few days, the color of the chrysalis will darken.  A chrysalis that has a mature butterfly inside it will also turn dark the day before the butterfly emerges. If a butterfly is inside, you will see the wing pads the day before the butterfly emerges. If it darkens and wing pads cannot be seen, it is a danger sign.”  Unfortunately, a percentage of Swallowtail Chrysalides will never produce an adult if they are preyed upon by parasitoid Chalcid Wasps.

Anise Swallowtail Chrysalis

The Anise Swallowtail Chrysalis darkens just before an adult is ready to emerge.

Anise Swallowtail

This is a gorgeous, adult Anise Swallowtail.

Anise Swallowtail

Ovipositing Anise Swallowtail

And the cycle begins anew as a female Anise Swallowtail deposits her eggs on the host plant.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Argema mittrei life stages
Location: Madagascar
January 6, 2017 11:47 am
Dear Daniel,
with my best wishes for 2017, I’d like to send You a drawing with Argema mittrei life stages as a little Christmas present…
Best
Bostjan
Signature: Bostjan Dvorak

Life Cycle of Argema mittrei by Bostjan Dvorak

Happy New Year Bostjan,
Thank you for submitting your beautiful drawing. 
Argema mittrei is really a beautiful Giant Silkmoth.  While we do not have any images on our site of that species, we do have an image of a relative from the African mainland, Argema mimosae, on our site.  We also have an image of what we believe to be the Caterpillar of Argema mimosae.  Perhaps you can let us know if that identification is correct. Mada Magazine has a nice article on the Madagascar Moon Moth or Comet Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Painted Lady?
Location: Cuernavaca, Mexico, alt: 1580 m
February 25, 2016 9:45 pm
Hi, I’m hoping you can help me again.
All three of the photos below were taken in October 2014, in the same plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico (altitude 1580 m). Those caterpillars were all over that plant for several seasons, until eventually there were enough to kill it. The butterflies are also very common. We believe they’re the same species, but obviously are not 100% sure.
From the caterpillar I thought a Painted Lady or Red Admiral, but the chrysalis and butterfly don’t match.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Signature: Peculiarist

White Rayed Patch

White Rayed Patch

Dear Peculiarist,
This lovely little Brush Footed Butterfly is a White Rayed Patch,
Chlosyne ehrenbergii, which we identified on Learn About Butterflies where it states:  “The eggs are pale yellow in colour, and laid in batches of up to 200, on the underside of leaves of the foodplant, Buddleia.”  We believe the leaves in your images are of butterfly bush or Buddleia, so the caterpillar and chrysalides are most likely the immature stages of the White Rayed Patch.  We will check with Keith Wolfe for verification as we cannot seem to locate images of the immature stages, though the appearance of the caterpillar and chrysalides are consistent with other members of the genus.

Chrysalides of a White Rayed Patch

Chrysalides of a White Rayed Patch

Keith Wolfe verifies Chrysalis and Imago, but questions Caterpillar
Hola Daniel,
Would you please ask “Peculiarist” to kindly send me (OK to share my email address) ONLY the caterpillar photo at FULL size?  The pupae look good for C. ehrenbergii, but the larva appears a little different.  Muchas gracias!
Saludos,
Keith

Caterpillar of a White Rayed Patch

Caterpillar of a White Rayed Patch

Peculiarist Corrects Attachments
Hi Daniel,
As I was updating my page I noticed that this is the same caterpillar I sent before (my photo folders are a bit of a mess, and I had this duplicated in another folder), that was tentatively identified as a Pine Moth caterpillar. They do look alike, but I think with the extra information you have in these three photos White-rayed Patch is a more likely match. The food tree matches.
Thanks for your help, and I’ll be more careful in sending the most complete information I can in the future.
James

Keith Wolfe supplies some links.
Buenas noches James and Daniel,
Muchas gracias for the corroborating larval image.  Being endemic to Mexico, life-history photos of “Mariposa parche negra” are difficult to find online, so here are some examples . . .
Eggs > http://static.inaturalist.org/photos/1425291/large.jpg
Young cats > http://static.inaturalist.org/photos/2065941/large.jpg
Midsize cats > https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/11138108_765723383556971_4136080445991029828_n.jpg?oh=700346af33d15330a4f48de964ad98ed&oe=5756EA21
Mature cat > http://lh3.ggpht.com/NPtIzQX0McHT9D-BdUFwuXNz6U14-xNAXmrVI-ouMnGlXZFSR67Gj29RsDEYXVcrBkWFhXpHvMEhLlz6UbAX=s1200
Chrysalises > https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/v/t1.0-9/1920361_696343820407963_1558468250_n.jpg?oh=c6b7a068d1e9f21e960bc0fd521aad08&oe=575DEF8D
Hostplant > http://lh4.ggpht.com/YeXdxZfu6nyU4EpfKorYTOGjzDrarIGaHwdnujnAIsA_nDLoS8nlcel9FK7zsTlY0ohON_masMW0py-53XowBQ=s1200
Adults > http://butterfliesofamerica.com/chlosyne_ehrenbergii_live1.htm
Mil felicidades,
Keith

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s going on here?
Location: SW Virginia
July 31, 2015 10:39 am
What is this interesting insect? We spotted it in a flower pot and filmed it emerging from a caterpillar or pupa. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6hoz8cytRU). It’s about an inch long. Thanks!
Signature: Curious

Metamorphosis of a Crane Fly

Metamorphosis of a Crane Fly

Dear Curious,
Your images of the metamorphosis of a Crane Fly in the family Tipulidae are a very exciting addition to our archives.  Crane Flies do not bite despite their resemblance to giant Mosquitoes.

Newly emerged Crane Fly

Newly emerged Crane Fly

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination