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photo of butterfly ova

Sonoran Blue Rearing Project
Larvae eating

photo of butterfliesIn their beginning stages the Sonoran Blue larvae will burrow underneath the skin of the host plant and create a small space for themselves while they feed on the succulent interior. You can see in this picture many such cavities, covered by a window of epidermal plant membrane. The frass is deposited inside the chamber. When the larvae reach their later instars they will often leave the comfort of their apartments and feed on the outside of the leaves, burrowing just their head into the fleshy part of the plant to feed, as shown in the inset. At this stage they will deposit their frass on the outside of the leaf (it looks somewhat like fresh caviar). See the next photo for more detail

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