Polygonus leo histrio

Photo Life History: Polygonus leo histrio (formerly Polygonus leo savigny.)

Habitat:  Shady Hardwood Hammocks in South Florida and the Florida Keys.

Host Plants:  Piscidia piscipula; Pongamia pinnata

Suitable Lab Host Plants:

Caring for Live Female Butterflies: 

Methods of Female Oviposition:  

How to Find Eggs:   Look on host plants with new growth.  This is critical especially during the dry season.  Most of the foliage on jamaican dogwood is older growth.  Females prefer to lay eggs on new growth where she can lays eggs singly or up to several.

How to Hatch Eggs: 

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  Larvae make typical spread-wing skipper nests on jamaican dogwood.  Again, only look on trees that have leaves with new growth.  Ignore older leaves.

Caterpillar setups:  Closed Container.  For some reason jamaican dogwood cuttings did not hold up well for me in an open terrarium or open bucket setup.  I had much better luck placing cuttings in a closed container; removing frass daily and replacing host every 3 to 5 days.   

Larva to Pupa:  Last instar caterpillars pupate in their nests.  Larva will vacate his feeding leaf shelter to find and create a new leaf shelter where it will pupate.

How to Find Pupae in the Field: Look for evidence of caterpillar feeding by looking for unique nests on jamaican dogwood.  Larvae will pupate in their nests.

Number of Broods per Year:  Can fly year round in South Florida.

Overwintering Stage: 

Overwintering Strategies: 

Post-Hibernation Strategies:

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Provide larvae with healthy host plant.  Diapause prevention is not normally needed. 

Disease Prevention: 

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes: