rearing of chalcedon checkerspots

Neil Jones Neil at
Thu Jun 25 17:19:03 EDT 1998

In article < at>
           niklas.wahlberg at Helsinki.FI "Niklas Wahlberg" writes:

I have never reared E chalcedona either, but I have a lot of experience
with various forms of E. aurinia.

>    Euphydryas butterflies are indeed obligate larval diapausers. In Finland
> I have kept diapausing larvae outside during winter in an unheated shed.
> The most important thing is keeping the humidity right. If it is too dry,
> the larvae die, and if it is too wet they tend to mould. In San Jose I
> would presume that the larvae diapause during the driest part of the year.
> The young larvae will enter diapause when they are ready, whether you want
> them to or not! Once they are in diapause, put them in a cool place (eg a
> basement or something similar) until their host plant begins to grow again
> in nature. It is best to check on them occassionally to make sure they are
> not drying out.

Yes this is a problem. My experience with E. aurinia beckeri from the Algarve
in Southern Portugal is probably the best parallel. I placed them on a cool
windowsill through the winter. They spin up a thick web as a hibernaculum
around the foodplant. They awoke in early January and I put them in the fridge for a 
few months untill I had enough Lonicera to feed them.

I would guess that E. chalcedona aestivates. ( i.e rests during the summer)
I would also keep the larvae on what ever foodplant they were found on.
Research has shown that there are genetic effects at work that make the
larvae do less well on different foodplants in different places.

If you want more technical information. My website has an archive
of scientific references.

Neil Jones- Neil at
"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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