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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Caloptilia alchimiella emerges.

I found the larva of this species on Aug.18th last year on a HSS walk to Hardcastle Crags with Steve, Bruce et al. It was found feeding within an oak leaf in a folded lobe after initially mining the leaf. After taking it home to rear through, it rapidly spun a lobe over whenever it was introduced to fresh leaves (top left).
3 weeks later after carefully tending to my charge and  providing new leaves whenever necessary, it eventually spun a neat cocoon to pupate in protected by a flimsier outer cocoon (top right).
After allowing a couple of weeks for the pupal case to harden it was carefully removed from the cocoons and transferred to a Tupperware box ready to spend the winter in the cooler environs of the garage.
It was brought indoors on Apr.4th this year and a few days ago the pupa began to colour up nicely suggesting that emergence was imminent (bottom right) and sure enough a couple of days later the adult emerged yesterday. It's a scarcely recorded species in Yorkshire due to it's size and also it's confusion with a closely related species with which it can be very difficult to be separated from.

4 comments:

Steve Blacksmith said...

Well done Charlie. Glad you found something noteworthy on that walk.

I was leaving my pupae outside to emerge naturally.
But some, like the Cinnabar Moth, wouldn't normally emerge till much later, would they?

charlie streets said...

Hi Steve, the flight season for Cinnabars is Mid-May to early August! One of the advantages of rearing them indoors is it forces them on and then you can make an educated guess as to when they will emerge, usually to within a week.

brian leecy said...

Great sequence Charlie,you could poss id it before it emerged ! Steve,quite a staggered emergence for Cinnabars,assuming the Pupa are below ground out of sight ? a daily check on the pots should suffice,Good Luck.

charlie streets said...

Thanks Brian, another bonus was being able to contribute to this great site:
http://www.leafmines.co.uk/html/Lepidoptera/C.alchimiella.htm