Post by irisscientist on Sept 2, 2011 16:14:26 GMT -8
I am soon to take custody of a number of second generation Apatura ilia larvae that by all accounts would normally settle down and hibernate for the winter. It is essential however that I keep these second generation beauties alert and entertained enough to reach maturity so that I can try and perform some rather detailed scientific studies. Having never reared ilia previously, can anybody (with prior second generation experience with this species) please suggest the best possible conditions in order for these specimens to please reach maturity? Living in the UK, autumn will soon fall, I had intended to rear the larvae on Populus contained within a specifically modified greenhouse. I would be able to control the major factors of temperature and photoperiod, (for both the larvae and Populus), but outside of these, does anybody actually have first hand experience in force rearing ilia in this manner? if so, all comments would be welcomed.
FWIW, almost all species can be "forced" if their environmental factors are introduced early enough in their larval developement to simulate their peak season, even bivoltine species like this one or biennial species. In the case of the second generation of this genus that means as soon after the ovum hatch as possible as they do hibernate as early instar larva. Control not just long photo period and temperature, but also humidity and air flow, and feed them high quality viable plants. Have done so many, many times with many different species. Not with this exact one, but with closely related species. Just simulate a natural June/July environment for them. It would also be a good idea to have the person you are getting them from do so too if it will be some time after they hatch before you get them. HTH