Raising of Broad-winged Skippers

Carol R. Lemmon clemmon at caes.state.ct.us
Tue Sep 8 12:56:34 EDT 1998

Greetings to all:

I am attempting to rear Broad-winged Skipper (Poanes viator) larvae, and finding it to be very frustrating.  I'm finding that, compared to most other skippers, Broad-wings are very difficult and reluctant rearing subjects.  Out of the 72 eggs I started out with, I have only 8 larvae remaining.  The majority of the newly hatched larvae refused to eat the choice of hostplants supplied (Panicum clandestinum, Panicum lanuginosum, Dactylis glomerata, Poa pratensis, Cyperus esculentus, and Phragmites communis) or ate reluctantly and died at later instar (2nd or 3rd).  These hostplants were chosen because they were found in the vicinity of the large adult colony where the females were obtained.  Panicum lanuginosum and Phragmites communis (contrary to most published material that I have consulted) were completely rejected by all the larvae: they wouldn't even walk on them.  The larvae on Poa ate reluctantly and never reached the 4th instar.  The remaining 8 larvae are doing very well (3/4" to 1 1/4" long), and are feeding on Panicum clandestinum, Dactylis glomerata, and Cyperus esculentus.  They show no preference between the 3 hostplants: all are eaten at a similar rate.  I do not understand why these 8 survive and are doing well, while all the others did not.  Even most of the larvae given the 3 preferred hosts died (36 total initially).

Is there anyone out there who has also attempted to rear Broad-wings?  I would be interested in any rearing information you have (success or failure), since current published information is very vague and limited.  I'm definitely interested in how large the larvae get before diapausing for the winter, how large the larvae get at maturity, where do mature larvae live on the hostplants (I have had no luck in finding them in the wild), and any host records.

If successful, I plan to write a paper on this subject.  Any information I receive and is used in the paper will be credited to its originator.

Please E-mail any information you are willing to send to clemmon at caes.state.ct.us .

Thank you.

Jeff Fengler
Research Assistant
CT Agricultural Experiment Station

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/private/leps-l/attachments/19980908/9d3553da/attachment.html 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list