Vanessa carye annabella

Photo Life HistoryVanessa carye annabella

Habitat:  Urban-Suburban; Agricultural Areas; Mountain Canyons; Pinyon Juniper; Valley Wet Meadows; Valley Lakes & Rivers; Desert Hills & Mountains

Host Plants:  Malva neglecta; Sida hederacea; Sphaeralcea ambigua; Sphaeralcea coccinea; 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:  Look on the upper side of the leaf.

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  Early instar caterpillars construct conspicuous nests with silk and frass in the center of the leaf.  Later instar caterpillars will tie multiple leaves together.

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrariums; Open Bucket

Overwintering Stage:  Adult. (Larvae will also overwinter; but will resume feeding if winter temperatures rise above approximately 45 degrees F.)  

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: 2-3 depending upon location.

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every three to four days.  Lower leaves of Malva neglecta will decay much quicker than younger leaves.

Field Notes: West Coast Ladies migrate into the Rocky Mountain Region every spring.