Breeding Yellow Admirals

  • This topic is empty.
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #15085

    Jane
    Participant

    On another thread about Red Admirals I mentioned having hundreds of eggs of what I thought were yellows on my urtica urens. It was suggested they might turn out to be Silver Y moth….What do Silver Y moth larvae look like?

    I have brought about 50 or so larvae inside and am rearing them in a container. I think I will split them into two lots and like Anna keep them to 25 or so per container for hygiene reasons. They are getting quite big now and are almost out of food each day when I clean them out. I am finding that the really big Urtica australis leaves are good for making it easier to clean them out, because they are less fiddly.

    So the question is – do Yellow Admiral larvae and Silver Y moth larvae look the same?

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #29365

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Jane
    If you want to see variation in your Yellow Admiral butterflies you can try this little trick, but you have to be careful not to kill them by accident! Take about a dozen pupae and place them in the refrigerator for a week or possibly two, depending on how cold your refrigerator is set, don’t go below 3 deg c for too long if you can help it, then remove the pupae and let them develop normally. Doing this gives you aberrations the most common being the blue spot on the fore-wing underside being totally diffused turning in to a blue spot rather than circle and the other aberration being that the Yellow becomes much deeper and the the brown veins that run through the patches become much thicker. There are other variations but as I stated you have to be careful about how long you expose the pupae to these low temperatures, Trial and error is the only way to find out for sure.

    http://passion-insectes.kikooforum.com/t356-aberrations

    Check out the 2 peacocks, inachis io in this link above

    #29354

    Jane
    Participant

    Yesterday I took close up photos of more Yellow Admiral caterpillars. This time I chose to get images of the darker variants, and to my amazement they also are all different. There are larvae with dark backs with dark bristles, dark backs with pale bristles, dark backs with translucent bristles with dark gray tips, some have black bellies, some brown bellies and some bright green. On their sides some have many tiny cream or white dots, some larger cream patches, and a few with solid colour. On their sides above the legs and below the spiracles, they all have a loop-stitch pattern. In some it is cream, some white, some orange, brown and even blue! Some variants have alternating stiching in two colours eg tan,cream,tan,cream. They truely appear to be very individualistic. One of the caterpillars is black with blue stitching, blue spiracles and blue bristle tips!

    Remarkably at time of release, they were all identical looking butterflies.

    Photos here:

    Yellow Admiral  Larvae (9)

    #29341

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Anna,

    Well the pale variants have turned out no different from any other Yellow Admirals once eclosed. It is amazing to me that the butterflies are identical and the larvae so very different.

    #29265

    Jane
    Participant

    We have approx 200 chrysalis in the castle (and around the kitchen escapees)and I think they are all yellows.

    I have kept 4 pale variants separate, and they have made chrysalis that are gold all over – very pretty. I hope to see if there is any difference in the emerged adult.

    I have been taking more close-up photos of the caterpillars and they are nearly all different in some aspect when looked at closely. I think it is fascinating that they vary so much as lavae, BUT, all look the same, and are indistinguishable as a butterfly!

    #29254

    Anna
    Participant

    How are they going now Jane?

    #29036

    Jacqui
    Moderator
    #29034

    Jane
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui. I see the loopers around a bit, but not on my nettles usually. The caterpillars are definately Admirals, no doubt about it : )

    Photo coming through

    #29028

    Anna
    Participant

    Good on you Jane raising them in Containers. I find as long as you clean them out daily, and give them fresh food in a handy towel lined container, you can raise heaps of them.

    #29013

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    If the caterpillar has bristles or hairs along its length they are likely to be Admiral caterpillars. If smooth and green as per Jacqui’s description they are probably Silver Y caterpillars or Burnished brass moth caterpillars, both of which are almost identical. Any chance of a photo Jane?
    That will pinpoint it.

    #29010

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    The larva [caterpillar] is a “semi-looper”, having only two pairs of abdominal prolegs, instead of the normal four. It walks by “looping”, alternately extending the front of the body and drawing up the hind part to almost meet it. All instars [growth stages] of the larva are green, and later instar (larger) larvae have thin white lines along the body, which is characteristically stouter towards the back end. Where populations are crowded, the forelegs and some body stripes may be blackened.

    http://www.hortnet.co.nz/publications/hortfacts/hf401020.htm

    #29009

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    From memory the Silver Y are green caterpillars, Jane. And it’s a looper, like the “inchworm” in the song… it has no legs in the middle and sort of forms an upside down U as it progresses along the leaves/stems.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.