Photo Life History: Leptotes marina
Habitat: Agricultural Areas; Disturbed Areas.
Host Plants: Medicago sativa; Acacia constricta; Acacia millefolia; Mimosa biuncifera
Suitable Lab Host Plants: Pisum sativum (snow peas)
How to Find Female Butterflies: Females can be found flying near larval host plant.
How to Care for Live Female Butterflies: Click here.
Methods of Female Oviposition: Twin Cup Method;
How to Find Eggs: Look on Flower Buds
How to Hatch Eggs: Separate eggs individually.
How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:
Caterpillar setups: Closed Container.<--(Scroll down to last four slides on this link.) Larvae feed well and grow rapidly in the lab feeding on snow peas or sugar snap peas purchased from the grocery store. Separate larvae into individual solo cups. Larvae burrow into pods and fruits. Since this is a closed container technique, religiously replace frass and host daily; if not twice a day.
Larva to Pupa: Larva Changes Color.
How to Find Pupae in the Field:
Number of Broods per Year: Multiple
Avoiding Diapause Techniques: Not normally needed. Larvae feed rapidly to pupation in the lab and emerge 7-10 days thereafter.
Disease Prevention: Change out host plant and remove frass every day (or twice a day) when rearing this butterfly in solo cups. This is important for this species if you raise them in a closed container. Caterpillars that are over-exposed to their own frass either get sick and die as larva (severe) or adults can emerge slightly crippled (subtle).
Emergence: Emergence Container
Field Notes: Special thanks to Jack Harry who recommended feeding these legume-feeding blues store-bought snow and sugar snap peas in solo cups. This technique works very well for this species (egg to pupa in less than three weeks.) Females oviposit on Medicago sativa; but, for some reason, larvae died on blooms of both Medicago sativa and Melilotus officinalis. Adults flew in association with Glycyrrhiza lepidota. However, Neither Nicky Davis nor I could get females to oviposit on this plant.