Curve-winged Metalmark (Vanessa virginiensis) life history
Curve-winged Metalmark (Emesis emesia) Life History

Eggs, 11-9-13

Hatchling, 11-9-13

First instar, 11-15-13

Second instar, 11-18-13

Third instar, 11-23-13

Fourth instar, 11-28-13

Fifth instar, 12-2-13

Pupa, 12-5-13

Fresh adult Curve-winged Metalmark, dorsal view, 12-17-13

Richard Boscoe graciously provided me several Curve-winged Metalmark eggs in 2013. All eclosed, but several of the neonate caterpillars did not establish - perhaps the humidity in the vial was too low. I was able to raise two to adulthood. The host used was Mexican Caesalpinia (Caesalpinia mexicana ), a common ornamental in Starr county.

If I did not miss a molt, then there were 5 instars. However, as the first apparently lasted 8 days, I may have overlooked one stage of development. Young caterpillars built a silk pad upon which they rested; only in the fourth instar did they begin sewing together leaves to form a nest. The caterpillars did not change much - or move much! - throughout their development.

In our comfortable November weather, it took 26 days for the metalmarks to develop from egg to pupa, and another eight days for the adults to emerge.

Curve-winged Metalmark Page