Battus philenor question

Mike Canzoneri mjc at
Fri Feb 19 01:29:24 EST 1999

It's February 18 and I got six B. philenor eggs on an A. fimbriata in
the yard today.  This is kind of odd because if a female bothers to pass
through the yard to lay eggs she'll usually hit every pipevine out there
and leave anywhere from thirty to one-hundred eggs.

Here's my question:  Has anyone had any luck with B. philenor larvae
surviving on wild ginger (asarum sp I think)?  I'm wondering because
some texts include this as a host for the pipevine swallowtail and since
they rip through my supply of Aristolochia pretty quick I'd like a
backup host.  Unfortunately, the bigger, more robust pipevines (like A.
durior) just don't do well here in Central Texas so we are stuck with
the smaller species.

One interesting observation I made a few years ago was that B.philenor
larvae would die if they were given a diet solely of A.grandiflora from
the start.  But, after they made it through a couple instars on
A.fimbriata or A.erecta it seemed they would do fine on a diet of about
60% to 70% A.grandiflora and 30% to 40% A.fimbriata or A.erecta.


** I really wouldn't mind a tiger or a lion  **
** But you can take your plain old cat.      **
** And all your kitty litter                 **
** And cans of chopped liver                 **
** And throw 'em in a gunny sack.            **
** I hate cats.                              **
**                                           **
** Harry Waller - from "I Hate Cats"         **

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