Lorquin's Admiral

Lorquin's Admiral female butterflies prefer to lay eggs along the tips of isolated willow, aspen, and choke cherry leaves. Once the egg hatches into a young first instar caterpillar, it begins to feed around the vein of the leaf; creating a conspicuous perch and then extending that perch with dung and debris.

Finding lorquin's admiral caterpillars is not too difficult if you live in Central and Northern Idaho where host plants are somewhat spotty; but sufficiently available to support this butterfly.

When the caterpillar molts to second instar, it shows a visible white saddle that measures daylength in order to assess whether it will hibernate/build a hibernaculum at third instar or go through to adult. The best way to raise caterpillars is to keep your room light on 24 hours a day so that caterpillars feed through to adult and bypass hibernation. If your larva does construct a hibernaculum, click here for overwintering instructions.

Click on the images below to launch a slide show on how to raise this butterfly. To see a video on how to handle caterpillars, click here.