Monday, May 31, 2010

Larval Doings 30th May

Located seven of the larvae I've been following in the Wiltshire woods and, incredibly, also found one that was last seen in mid September. Four of these eight were about half way through the final instar, the other four were skin changing into the final instar.

They are getting increasingly hard to follow, due to their increasing mobility - one had moved 5m! They seem to be venturing up the trees - some are only visible through binoculars. However, I am now fairly certain that there was a pulse of predation during that cold second week of May: three vanished then, whilst skin changing (into 4th instar), and have not been refound.

My guess is that the butterfly should start to appear at the very end of June, but much depends on how long it takes them to pupate - which is weather dependent. Watch this space...

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