Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon bazochii) Life History


Adult female ovipositing, 4-18-09
 

S. bazochii egg, 4-21-09
 
Fresh caterpillar, 4-23-09
           

4-27-09
 
4-28-09; color has changed overnight
           

5-1-09
 
5-3-09
 

5-5-09


5-6-09; another overnight color change!


Beginning to pupate, 5-7-09
 
5-9-09 (pupa formed on 5-8-09)


Freshly emerged adult just after release, 5-16-09
 

A female Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak visited my purple lantana plants in April, 2009, and she graciously posed for the camera as she oviposited on several flowers.

The eggs were buried in the flower heads and initially were impossible to locate without dissecting the flower. I collected a flower head on which I had seen her ovipositing. After 3 days some of the flowers had grown out and started to fade; I pulled a few of the older blossoms out and eventually located the egg. Cut lantana flowers do not keep well. In order to keep the flower head relatively fresh, I kept the cutting in an enclosed container with the stem in water. (Plastic wrap covered the water container so that the young caterpillar would not accidentally drown.) This setup kept the flower head fresh enough until the caterpillar eclosed and could be moved to a new cutting. 

The caterpillar eclosed five days after the egg was laid; it pupated 15 days later. The entire journey from egg to adult took about 4 weeks.