Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area
Butterfly and Moth Site

California Tortoiseshell [Nymphalis californica] Rearing Images

Related pages:

On April 18, 2005 I was lucky enough to find a cluster of fresh 2nd instar larvae on a large Ceanothus bush. They can easily be identified by the two narrow yellow stripes down their backs.

They really enjoy eating the purple blossoms and quickly strip all that they can find before moving on to the foliage. They spent a few days in a container eating some cuttings and then were sleeved on another Ceanothus bush along with another cluster found nearby on 4-22-2005.

About one month later, on 5-18-2005, most of the larvae were fully grown and many had pupated in the sleeve. Many more had survived than I expected and they had completely stripped the foliage on the branch. A number of hungry larvae that were still not mature were released to fend for themselves on nearby Ceanothus, their chances of survival now greatly increased due to being near fully grown. The images below show the scene...

These larvae were collected on Ceanothus flowers in mid April, 2004, and raised in the lab.

Here they are about 6 days later.

They grow and mature quickly. Here are the mature larvae, 10 days later.

Here is a complete sequence of a larvae molting into the pupal stage.

A few days later, these pupae have dried and hardened.

Adult just starting to emerge

Return To:

SCV Butterflies

Main Index Page