Sunday, September 29, 2013

Larval Progress

I am nearing the end of my annual survey of iris ova & larvae in and around Savernake, for the fifth consecutive year.  The 'egg lay' is very good, perhaps as good as that of 2009 when 141 eggs & larvae were found.  However, the breeding areas have changed -  new breeding grounds have developed and some favoured hot spots have become neglected. 

Larvae are now entering, or have recently entered, their 3rd instar (L3), in which they hibernate.  Here's a larva changing from L2 to L3.  Unusually, it's changing on its original (1st instar - L1) seat pad.  Note diagnostic feeding -

And here's another which has just changed from L2 to L3.  Note the cast skin behind the larva's tail and cast head piece -

Meanwhile, someone else is putting in a serious challenge for Butterfly of the year 2013 -

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