buckeye quandries

Neil Jones Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Mon Aug 24 15:26:40 EDT 1998

In message <19980824171328.668.qmail at hotmail.com> "Laurel Godley" writes:
> SW & others,
> I've been having a few troubles with the buckeye's I'm trying to rear.  
> In short, MANY have been inexplicably dieing.  I don't know if this is a 
> bacterial or other problem.  The somewhat odd thing, is they seem to get 
> unusually large before this happens.  By which I mean, they are about 
> 1/4-1/2 larger in size than the ones that I successfully raised 6 weeks 
> ago.  I am wondering if there is any afflication that would suppress 
> pupation and essentially cause them to keep eating until they 
> grow-to-death.

This is peculiar. It sounds like an excess of juvenile hormone in the
larva. I know that this effect has been investigated for its potential
as an insecticide but I am unaware of any specific products that have been
developed. There are a number of natural substances that are known to 
mimic juvenile hormone, I recall one was a "paper factor" that killed
bugs grown in contact with it.
The other thing that can cause this is parasitism. The parasites mess 
up the larval hormones to prolong the larval stage. 

Neil Jones- Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.nwjones.demon.co.uk/
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve

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