Erynnis meridianus

Photo Life History: Erynnis meridianus

Habitat:  Desert Hills & Mountains

Host Plants:  Quercus turbinella

Suitable Lab Host PlantsQuercus gambellii; Quercus alba

How to Find Female Butterflies:  Click here.

How to Care for Live Female Butterflies:  Click here.

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Erynnis females can be somewhat uncooperative at laying eggs in captivity.

How to Find Eggs:  Look on host plants with new growth.  Although this strategy can be unproductive in the spring when new growth abounds, it can be very effective in the late summer when new growth is rare.  Many female Erynnis (not just E. meridianus) will only lay eggs on the most tender new growth of host plants--eliminating the need to examine 99 percent of foliage.  Erynnis ova are also more conspicuous when they turn orange roughly 24 hours after oviposition.

How to Hatch Eggs: Consolidate eggs into one container

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Look for Skipper Nests

How to Find Pupae in the Field: 

Caterpillar setups: Open terrariums; Open Bucket;

Larva to Pupa:  Larva Changes Color.

Number of Broods per Year: 2

Overwintering Stage:  Mature Fifth Instar Larva

Overwintering Strategies: Your Own Backyard; Refrigerator

Post-Hibernation Strategies:  Expose mature last instar larvae to warmer temperatures, long-day photoperiod, and humidity.  They should pupate within 14 days of being exposed to these conditions.

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Healthy host plant.  If lab host plant is not changed out every five days or so, foliage can deteriorate; triggering mature last instar larvae to diapause.  Fresh host plant will likely enable your larva to pupate and emerge immediately.  This strategy can also occasionally work on univoltine populations of Erynnis persius fredericki, Erynnis pacuvius lilius, Erynnis icelus, and Erynnis telemachus.

Disease Prevention:   Change out host plant and remove frass every four or five days. 

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes: