Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa) life history
Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa) Life History


8-13-11

8-14-11
     
Caterpillar has built frass chain and also decorated itself with frass, 8-15-11
            

Caterpillar has grown but is still on frass chain, 8-17-11
     

"Antlers" form in new instar; caterpillar no longer using frass chain, 8-19-11
     

8-22-11
     

Face of Mexican Bluewing caterpillar, 8-23-11
     

Fully grown caterpillar, 8-26-11
     

Chrysalis, 8-28-11

Pre-emergent chrysalis, 9-2-11
     

Fresh adult female Mexican Bluewing, dorsal, 9-2-11
     

Fresh adult female Mexican Bluewing after release, ventral, 9-2-11
 

The caterpillar of this study came from an egg I was given. The egg was deposited on Vasey's Adelia (Adelia vaseyi). The caterpillar emerged a day or two after I received the egg.

The recently-emerged caterpillar began to build a frass chain (a behavior also observed in Leafwing caterpillars). In addition, it also decorated itself with frass. Presumably, the decoration served as camouflage for the young caterpillar. It used the chain for four-five days; then, in what I believe is the third instar, it began resting on the leaves or stems of its foodplant. Perhaps the camouflage was no longer necessary because by this time the young caterpillar had grown a pair of intimidating "antlers" on its head, and the body was now covered with branched spines.

From this point on, the caterpillar changed little in appearance. It pupated 13 days after eclosing, and the adult emerged seven days later. I'm fairly certain that this particular adult was still hanging around the house at least two weeks after being released.

Mexican Bluewing Page