Nr.of instars in Lepidoptera

Laura Rodríguez-Loeches Zarragoitia loeches_est at
Tue Apr 19 15:20:47 EDT 2005

Hi Oliver and collegues,

I am finishing my Bachelour in Science Thesis working with the life cycle of
an arctiid moth. And we have obtained two complete laboratory cohorts. In
the first one, larvae have 6 or 7 instar (mostly 7), but in the second
cohort we obtained specimens with 7, 8 or 9 instar.

It seems that the number of instar depends of many factors, but what it
seems to be sure is that larvae needs to reach certain cephalic capsule
width (to reach a size), and until they don't reach it, they molt over an
over again. That size depends of the species. That is my experience. Maybe
someone can say more.

I hope that help.

Laura Rodríguez-Loeches Zarragoitia

Sorry but I don't know nothing about Nymphalinae
----- Original Message -----
From: "Oliver Miler" <oliver.miler at>
To: <LEPS-L at>
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 3:24 AM
Subject: Nr.of instars in Lepidoptera

> Dear colleagues,
> I am a PhD student at the Limnological Institute of the University of
> Konstanz, Germany and I am working with moths of the subfamily
> Nymphalinae, especially the water veneer Acentria ephemerella. I am
> studying the life-history of Acentria and I would like to know (since
> it is for this species until now not well-known, at least as far as I
> know), how many instars moths and butterflies, especially Nymphalinae,
> have and what the variability between species is. I have have been told,
> that there are typically 4 to 5 instars, but through searching in the
> Internet and published papers, I have read that there may be also six
> or seven (or more) instars. I am very thankfull for any comments and
> answers to my e-mail, since I have worked in the field of fish ecology
> before and am just in the middle of learning more and more about the
> biology of moths & butterflies.
> Thank You very much in advance
> Best regards
> Oliver Miler
> ----------------------
> Oliver Miler
> Limnological Institute
> University of Konstanz
> Mainaustr. 252
> 78464 Konstanz
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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