Nymphalis milberti furcillata

Photo Life HistoryNymphalis milberti furcillata

Habitat:  Valley Wet Meadows; Valley Lakes & Rivers; Mountain Canyons; Mountain Hilltops; Arctic Alpine;

Host Plants:  Urtica dioica

Suitable Lab Host Plants:

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Feed females regularly.

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Open Screen Cages; Portable Cages

How to Find Eggs:  Eggs Laid in Clusters;

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  Caterpillars are gregrious and build unique nests on stinging nettle. Watch this video to see how milbert's tortoise shell caterpillars feed gregariously at early instars and how later instars create nests.  In Northern Utah and Colorado, the time of year to look for nests is in June and July roughly between 5,000 feet and 7,500 feet in elevation.

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrariums; Open Bucket

Overwintering Stage:  Adult.   

Overwintering Strategies:

Larva to Pupa:  Caterpillar silks to leaf or twig; creates and attaches cremaster; hanging as a J before pupating.

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Number of Broods per Year: 1

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every three to five days.

Field Notes: In the Intermountain West, Nymphalis milberti furcillata flies in a variety of habitats depending upon the time of year as it temporally migrates to where daytime high and low temperatures are relatively moderate~roughly no warmer than 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and not too far below freezing at night.  In other words in early spring and late fall, these butterflies can be found near the valley floor; moving up mountain canyons towards the tops of the mountains as the season progresses from spring through summer and then descending down again in the fall.