California Sister (Adelpha bredowii)

Chris Conlan conlan at
Fri Jun 20 22:36:18 EDT 1997

I used to raise bredowii back in college.  I never had much trouble getting
eggs out of them.  I would take wild caught females and put them in small
screen cages (usually cylinders about 10 inches tall and 6-8 inches in
diameter) with a sprig of live oak.  One of the tricks was that they needed
to be in almost constant contact with the oak (big cages with lots of free
flight space never worked for me).  They needed to be constantly bumping
into the leaves while they flew around the cage.  I would feed them diluted
honey once per day and keep the cage in the sun or under a bright warm
light in the house.  The sun works better but in either case be careful not
to cook them.  Generally, the females would crank out the eggs in small
batches over a period of 2-3 weeks.  The eggs are huge compared to the size
of the butterfly (probably due to the toughness of the natural hostplant)
and easily noticed.  The young larvae build small perches off the tips of
the leaves by silking their frass together.  It's really quite interesting
to see.  Hope you have better luck next time.

conlan at

>I have talked with several people who have confirmed the difficulty of
>getting Sisters to oviposit.  I, too, would love to hear any hints...

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