Polites sonora utahensis

Polites sonora utahensis

Photo Life History: Polites sonora utahensis

Habitat:  Wetlands

Host Plants:  Carex spp.

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

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Nectaring techniques

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Potted Plant Sleeves.  Female Polites sonora utahensis prefer to oviposit towards the base of potted sedges or even in debris at the base of the pot.

How to Find Eggs:  Not generally productive.

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container.  Mist eggs with water to simulate natural conditions.

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Extremely difficult as larvae construct nests at the base of sedges.  Clearly the best way to obtain caterpillars is to collect live females and get eggs.

Caterpillar setups:  Twin Cup for early instars.  Switch to potted sedges for later instars. 

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

How to Find Pupae in the Field: 

Number of Broods per Year:  1

Overwintering Stage: 

Overwintering Strategies: 

Post-Hibernation Strategies:

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Provide larvae with healthy host plant under long day photophase and they will not diapause.

Disease Prevention: Not necessary for potted plant technique.  Change out host plant and remove frass every ten to fourteen days using the twin cup technique.  (Sedge cuttings seem to remain useable for longer than grass cuttings.)

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:  For the most part, females refuse to lay eggs on grasses.  When they do, larvae refuse grasses and die.