larval & pupal exuviae

Sat Sep 27 11:29:28 EDT 1997

A reply to Doug Yanega's post:

Published records on immature tropical lepidoptera are scant, and most
of them do not offer much details for any type of analyses. Particularly
useless are those papers describing nymphalid immatures, because there
is no information on the arrangement of the myriad spines on the body
and head which will help in understanding their relationships. Also,
information on primary setae (on the first instars) and egg sculpture
is needed.

Eggs, larvae and pupae can be kept in alcohol and must include at least
the name for the host plant, although it is desireable to include a
voucher for the plant in a herbarium. If nothing came out from its prior
stage, this too can be preserved, because it will be at least identified
to genus level, and may be linked to species if it were known where did
it came from by comparing the community there. Parasitoids are also
pinned along with its host, and ther is too little known about this

Exuviae are kept along with the adult, but it is useless trying to
inflate because it is too delicate. Perhaps recently molted skins can
be extended to a point, but usually complete larvae and pupae are
sacrificed in nearly boiling water, and kept in alcohol as I just

I encourage you to rear all you can, and always keep the records.
I feel like we are living the days back in the 18 hundreds, when almost
any species collected was new to science. Well today is just like it,
almost anything you rear, this is highly likely that is an unpublished
species' immature. This is the new scope in lepidopteran taxonomy

Andres Orellana
Universidad de los Andes
Merida, Venezuela.

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