Rearing notes for our spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus) larvae and pupae originally found as larvae on spicebush (Lindera benzoin) at Mundy Wildflower Garden in Ithaca, New York.
Rearing notes 9/30/17-10/21/17:
Rearing notes for our giant swallowtails (Papilio cresphontes). Originally found as eggs on rue (Ruta graveolens) in Ithaca, New York.
The falls in Ithaca are very colorful.
It's mid October and the leaves here in Ithaca have been starting to change color and drop. As California natives, we had never known that fall could be so attractive and colorful, since back home, most trees were either evergreen or semi-evergreen, and any trees that did drop their leaves weren't very colorful. Here in Ithaca, however, virtually all the trees here are deciduous besides the conifers, creating a beautiful display of colorful leaves. Walking down the Cornell campus, there was a huge spectrum of colors from green, yellow, orange, to red. The reflection of the trees in the water of Beebe Lake was spectacular. The crabapple trees also have a very ornamental appearance now that their leaves have fallen but their fruit have not.
At this time of year, there doesn't seem to be many insects around anymore. All the more common ones (hymenopterans, dipterans, etc.) are still fairly common, but collecting has definitely become much harder even when the weather in warm and sunny. As far as leps, there aren't really any flying except cabbage whites, clouded and orange sulfurs, monarchs, and recently, painted ladies. There are still some small moths left as well.
Rearing notes for our giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) larvae. Originally found as eggs on rue (Ruta graveolens) in Ithaca, New York.
Rearing notes 9/25/17-10/6/17:
One of our spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus) pupae has eclosed into a male. Originally found as a larva on spicebush (Lindera benzoin) in Ithaca, New York.
Well, this is certainly a big surprise. We had assumed that all of our troilus pupae were in diapause given the time of year and deliberate darkness treatment to counter unnatural indoor photoperiods. We certainly have not been seeing an of the adults in flight or been finding any eggs (or larvae for that matter) for the past few weeks already, so they are clearly already mostly done in the wild. But perhaps it is not too late for them to emerge right now as it is not truly cold yet and won't be for at least another several weeks. . . we will just consider them stragglers.
Anyway, here is a shot of the pharate pupa with the others. Color doesn't seem to have anything to do with diapause as this one was originally brown.
And here is the pupa up close:
It eclosed a while later into a spectacular blue laden male.
For how small the pupa are, both visually in volume and by weight, the adult is not small at all in terms of wing size. For P. zelicaon of the same weight, we suspect that the troilus would win out, which would make sense because that would be the case with rutulus (also Pterorous).
Both the forewings and the hindwings are very rounded along the edges, giving it a characteristic troilus look. The tails are uniquely club-shaped, which is not quite the case in other swallowtails or in the female we caught before. The abdomen is also much more heavily marked in yellow compared to the female. The shape of the abdomen is long and skinny and very similar to the tigers, but the clasper is fairly small.
Ithaca, New York
This timeline is a series of daily posts recording our observations and experiences with various insects (primarily Lepidoptera) around the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York, starting from the time we moved here in 2017. As this is a personal blog, we try to keep collections/rearings for university research and course work to a minimum, and mainly focus on just the species we catch and raise for our own fun and interest. Posts prior to this time can be viewed at Timeline 2012-2017: Albany, California, though there is occasionally some crossover when we have returned home during breaks or reared stock derived from home (see Albany, California Updates).
July 2020 (1)
August 2019 (2)
July 2019 (35)
June 2019 (46)
May 2019 (20)
March 2019 (1)
January 2019 (1)
September 2018 (1)*
August 2018 (9)*
July 2018 (11)*
June 2018 (22*)
May 2018 (18)*
April 2018 (2)*
January 2018 (6)
December 2017 (5)
November 2017 (1)
October 2017 (5)
September 2017 (26)
August 2017 (19)
*Currently, a significant portion of 2018 posts are missing. The notes/photos for this time period are saved on our personal files but the posts were never built due to a busy schedule that year. We are still actively building these posts when we have the time.
Full Species List
(Alphabetical by scientific name)
- Not every species we encounter is necessarily presented on this site, rather a selection of those that were of particular interest to us and that we felt were worth documenting.
- We can't guarantee that all species have been identified accurately, particularly taxa we are not as familiar with.
Battus philenor hirsuta
Liminitis arthemis arthemis
Limenitis arthemis astyanax
Papilio polyxenes asterius
Papilio polyxenes asterius × Papilio zelicaon
Albany, California Updates