For rearing of larvae, I use an aquarium method, placing fresh LFP in bottles of water.
|Aquariums on table used to rear indra larvae||5th instars on Lomatium parryi in an aquarium|
|Various instars on Lomatium parryi in an
|Water is replenished by refilling water bottles with a syringe.|
Mature 5th instars are placed in lunch bags for pupation, and developing pupae are taped inside a small cardboard box for eclosion. Adults' wings are allowed to harden for 48 hours in a cool, dark environment.
|Lunch bags containing pre-pupation wandering larvae and emergence box containing a recently enclosed adult.|
In order to get desert populations of Indra to emerge it is useful to artificially raise the humidity.
|Pupae in wet sand-filled aquarium
to control humidity level.
I feel that if one wants to know the biology of a butterfly, they need to know the biology of its LFPs-- for example, when and where they grow, their soil requirements and other environmental requirements. To gain insights into the evolutionary history of a lepidopteran one should know the ranges and distributions of its LFPs, because they have likely played a major role in the evolutionary patterns of the species. With 12 Indra subspecies and others pending, I feel this is important. Lets now turn to the LFPs used by Indra Swallowtail butterflies.