Sexual dimorphism in pre-imaginal stadia

Guy Van de Poel Guy_VdP at
Tue Jul 21 13:23:58 EDT 1998


A couple of days ago, while wading through the 300+ messages that had
accumulated while being on leave, I saw one that asked if you could
distinguish a male from a female caterpillar.
I did not pay much attention, but I think the answer given was No.
Well, this afternoon, I stumbled upon a text by Tom Tolman about the "Sexual
dimorphism in the pre-imaginal stadia of Erebia ottomana Herrich-Schaeffer,
1848 in Greece (Lepidoptera : Nymphalidae, Satyrinae)."
The Summary :
"Sexual dimorphism in the larva and pupa, in addition to that arising from
purely sexual characters, is reported ... "
In short :
Greyish larvae give golden-brown pupae that give Male butterflies.
Greenish larvae give  about five days later darker pupae with a prominent
green dorsal line that give Female butterflies. The author suspects that the
same phenomenon will be true for other closely related Erebia's.
The article was published in Linneana Belgica, XV (1), p. 6-8, in march

Thought someone might be interested, greetings,

Guy Van de Poel

Guy_VdP at

entomorama at
Entomorama 9 - 9th International Insect Fair in Flanders, Belgium

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