This site is sponsored by JCM Digital Imaging

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

Chalcedon (variable) Checkerspot [Euphydryas chalcedona] Rearing Images

Related pages:



Tiny 1st instar larvae just after hatching out of their eggs. Filmed 6-30-2004

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) newly-hatched larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) newly-hatched larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) newly-hatched larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) newly-hatched larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) newly-hatched larvae

5 days later, they have grown significantly, and are shown here in a custom-made rearing container. Note that the host plant (Sticky Monkeyflower) cuttings' stems fit tightly through small holes in the film canister's lid, which prevents the tiny larvae from crawling down into the water-filled bottom and drowning.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae and rearing container
10 days later, the first four photos below show their growth is slow but steady; 11 days after that, the remaining photos show that they are now in 2nd instar and nearly a quarter-inch in length. It won't long before they will seek out rolled-up leaves or leaf debris at the base of the plant in which to hibernate for the rest of summer and through the winter.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 1st instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tiny 2nd instar larvae

As the little larvae molt into 3rd instar, they take on a somewhat shortened and fatter shape, then lay dormant for the remainder of the season. In spring, they awaken with yet another molt and begin feeding in earnest. By the time May comes around, the larvae are about fully mature and ready to pupate. The last photo below shows a batch of larvae collected in late March, in various stages of growth after emerging from diapause (hibernation)

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) hibernating 2nd / 3rd instar larvae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) tray of collected larvae

The first photo is of a 2nd instar larva photographed in Bouquet Canyon on Monkeyflower host, March 2005. The remaining three are nearly mature larvae, collected from Monkeyflower foodplant in Bouquet Canyon in April of 2004.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) second instar larva Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva

Unfortunately some larvae fall victim to parasites, as seen in the photos below. Parasitic wasps or flies lay their eggs in or on the larva, which feed on and develop inside it. When they reach maturity, they chew their way out, killing the larva (if it wasn't already dead), and spin their own cocoons. They parasite then pupates and finishes its life cycle, emerging from its cocoon as an adult.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larva with cocooned parasites Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larva with cocooned parasites Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larva with cocooned parasites Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larva with cocooned parasites
Those larvae that manage to survive, locate a suitable place on the host plant, and secure themselves upside-down by the tail. Hanging in this "flying-J" configuration, they prepare to pupate.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larvae (pre-pupa) preparing to pupate Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larvae (pre-pupa) preparing to pupate Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larvae (pre-pupa) preparing to pupate Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larvae (pre-pupa) preparing to pupate Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larvae (pre-pupa) preparing to pupate Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) larvae (pre-pupa) preparing to pupate

These images of live mature larvae were taken on 4-8-2005 near Beale's Cut in Newhall, CA. Finding them was somewhat spotty, but a few bushes had 10-20 larvae each on them. The floods of 2005 may have washed many larvae away from the bushes growing in the low-lying washes and gullies.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) mature larva

These are the same larvae pictured above, in the process of pupating on 4-22-2005. Note that the pins used to secure the pupae to the backboard are pinned through the tiny bit of silk at the tail end which the pupa is attached to, NOT through the pupa itself.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae and pre-pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae and pre-pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae and pre-pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae and pre-pupae

Vaious pupae images from 2004. Note the unusual white coloration.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae

The sequence below was shot on 4-26-2006 and shows a pair of pupae; the dark one is just about ready to emerge while the other is still a week or so away. Note the clearly visible wing pattern through the nearly transparent pupal case. Around noon when the temperature reached about 72F in the lab, he bagan to emerge and expand his wings.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae

Images 1 - 5: An adult emerging in 2004. Images 6 and 7: a female emerging on 5-3-2006.

Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) emerging from pupae

Note: The audio, video, text, and photographic material contained herein is Copyright (C)JCM Digital Imaging, however, you may download this material directly from any Internet source and use it free of charge in your own non-profit/non-commercial YouTube videos, school projects, etc. The full free usage policy and copyright/ad info can be found at these links (please read before using JCMDI material)

Return To:

SCV Butterflies

Main Index Page