Battus philenor question

Pierre A Plauzoles ae779 at
Fri Feb 19 19:26:59 EST 1999

In a previous article, mjc at (Mike Canzoneri) says:

>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.

Equally strange is the fact that A elegans is toxic to many areas' B philenor 
larvae.  I have, however, heard that some do OK on it.  Whether the 
latter is true or not, I don't know.
Pierre Plauzoles   ae779 at
Canoga Park, California

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