Euphyes vestris vestris

Euphyes vestris vestris

Photo Life History: Euphyes vestris vestris

Habitat:  Wetlands; Valley Lakes & Rivers

Host Plants:  Carex spp.

Suitable Lab Host Plants: Cyperus esculentus, Carex geyeri; Carex hoodii (Most sedge species of the genus Carex and Cyperus will serve as larval host plants in the lab.)

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Nectaring techniques

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Portable Cages 

How to Find Eggs:  Look on blades of sedges in wetlands where this skipper flies. 

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container.  Mist spray eggs intermittently simulating moist, natural conditions in wetlands.

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Sedge-feeding Euphyes larvae construct very unique looking skipper nests.  Watch this video to see what a late instar nest looks like.  They look a little different than grass feeding skipper nests; but the silking and "tying leaves together" are similar.  Also see this slide show of skipper nests and scroll down to the 15th slide.

Caterpillar setups:  Using the open terrarium or open bucket technique, place hatchling first instars on tender leaves of sedges.  Raising caterpillars on potted sedges also works great. 

Larva to Pupa:  Last instar caterpillars pupate right in their nests.

How to Find Pupae in the Field: Look for evidence of caterpillar feeding by looking for unique nests on sedges.  When Euphyes larvae pupate in their nests they plug up the entrance with white silk.  Watch this video.

Number of Broods per Year:  1

Overwintering Stage:  Fourth instar.  (Possibly third instar as well.)

Overwintering Strategies:  Your Own Backyard; Refrigerator.  (Expose larvae to consistent humidity and airflow.  This was accomplished by keeping a diapausing fourth instar larva in the potted sedge it was feeding upon and placing that in the refrigerator.  Water potted plant every other week.) 

Post-Hibernation Strategies: Provide post-diapause caterpillars to healthy host plant.

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Provide larvae with healthy host plant, high humidity; and/or 24 hours of light.  (Long day photophase may not be necessary.)

Disease Prevention: Change out host plant and remove frass every four to five days using the open terrarium technique. 

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:  Special thanks to Dave Nunnalee, Dr. Andy Warren, and Jon Pelham for their help with locations for this skipper in Washington State.