C. nemesis life history
Fatal Metalmark (Calephelis nemesis) Life History

10-13-09, eggs

10-17-09, recently-eclosed caterpillar

10-23-09, eggs



11-4-09, one day before first caterpillar pupated

11-6-09, 2 pupae

Fresh Fatal Metalmark, 11-13-09

I captured a mating pair of Fatal Metalmarks by the simple expediency of placing an empty mayonnaise jar over them. I then provided flowers for nectar and several sprigs of the host plant, Old Man's Beard (Clematis drummondii). After three days I decided to release the butterflies, even though I did not see any evidence of eggs having been laid. However, when I inspected the cuttings I was surprised to find over two dozen eggs. The brownish color of the eggs made them very difficult to see.

Depending on when they were laid, the eggs took 5-7 days to eclose. It took a few days for the caterpillars to gain their characteristic "hairy" appearance. They did not move around very much at all. I often had to move the caterpillars to fresh leaves because they simply stayed where they were, even after the leaf was wilted and drying. As time went by I released the majority of the caterpillars onto wild hostplants; I kept about a half-dozen that were raised to maturity.

It took 19 days from the time the caterpillars eclosed until the first one pupated on 11-5-09. The first adult emerged from its chrysalis 8 days later.

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