Papilio zelicaon nitra

Beginner Rearing Instructions:  Click here

Photo Life History:  Papilio zelicaon nitra

Habitat:  Mountain Canyons; Mountain Hilltops

Host Plants:  Lomatium dissectum; Lomatium grayi grayi; Cymopterus hendersonii; Lomatium grayi depauperatum; Lomatium junceum; Musineon tenuifolium; Cymopterus terebinthinus calcareus   

Suitable Lab Host Plants: Foeniculum vulgare  (Fennel works great in the lab for most all machaon group swallowtails.)

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Feed females regularly.

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Open Screen Cages

How to Find Eggs: Isolated Host Plants

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  Isolated Host Plants

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrariums; Open Bucket

Larva to Pupa:  Larva purges and wanders

How to Find Pupae in the Field: 

Number of Broods per Year: 1

Overwintering Stage:  Pupa.

Overwintering Strategies: Your Own Backyard; Refrigerator

Post-Hibernation Strategies: Expose pupae to warmer temperatures, long-day photoperiod; and mist spraying.  Pupae should emerge within a couple of weeks. 

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Unknown. 

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every four to six days. 

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:  The surest way to get forms gothica and nitra is to hand pair a form nitra with a form gothica; As with most butterflies, it is best to check isolated or scattered host plants, for immatures. (Notes from Utah populations.)