Guatemalan Cracker (Hamadryas guatemalena) life history
Guatemalan Cracker (Hamadryas guatemalena) Life History


Egg

Hatchling
     

First instar resting on leaf vein

Second instar
            

Third instar
     

Fourth instar
     

Fifth instar, "green" form
     

Prepupal larva

Chrysalis
     

Fresh adult Guatemalan Cracker, dorsum, 9-27-13
     

Same Guatemalan Cracker one week after release, ventrum, 10-5-13
 

Crackers, primarily Gray, were regular and abundant in summer-fall of 2013. In early September, I found a female Guatemalan Cracker in my bait trap. I placed her in the greenhouse with Dalechampia scandens, and after about a week she began ovipositing. I released her after she produced a couple of dozen eggs.

When the eggs eclosed, I brought three caterpillars inside to observe. They developed rapidly through the early instars. The rest of the larvae were left on the vines in the greenhouse. During a week of unusually wet weather I noticed heavy attrition on the outside vines. At first I suspected a spider or similar predator had gotten into the greenhouse. However, I eventually found a carcass that led me to conclude the weather was the culprit. Glaucous Cracker larvae thrived in the greenhouse during this period, but apparently the Guatemalan Cracker caterpillars were more sensitive to the very wet conditions. Only two from the greenhouse pupated, and neither chrysalis produced a viable adult.

 


Face of Guatemalan Cracker

The three caterpillars raised inside fared much better, and three adults were obtained. I was able to release a pair at the same time. They stayed around the house for at least a week, but I never found their caterpillars on the outside Dalechampia vines.

Guatemalan Cracker Page