Back in late March we conducted surveys for Hawaiian Drosophilia around some properties in Kokee (Kauai) that the Navy uses. It was a great trip, worthy of more than a few posts here, but for now I’m just going to throw up some pics of a little lep species I’ve been trying to rear.
I found a cluster (maybe about 50 or so) of dark pink (salmon or maybe coral colored?) eggs on an Acacia koa leaf – not technically a leaf (petiole? phyllode?), I know, but for lack of a better term that is what I am calling it. I was actually hoping they were koa bug eggs, but when I showed them to Steve he immediately recognized them as Lepidoptera eggs (too small for Coleotichus blackburniae). He suggested I collect the eggs, take them back to Oahu, and try to rear to the adult form. This is what I have been doing for the last month. The eggs hatched on March 30th or possibly the night of the 29th. I’ve reared them on Formosa koa the whole time up until today. They seemed to prefer eating the flowers and not the leaves. I tried to take photos every 5 to 10 days – once again I struggled to get decent pics, but I guess they came out OK. This morning I noticed that there were about 5 or 6 caterpillars lying motionless under the paper towel on the bottom of the cage, and when I checked again at noon, two had turned into pupae. Another 5 or 6 were lying on top of the paper towels as well. I’m a little bummed out because I leave for Okinawa on Saturday for three weeks, and I’m afraid the adults will not emerge (eclose?) before I leave. I’m probably going to have to leave the pupae with a coworker or something.
Here are the pics (unfortunately I never took a photo of the eggs) – if anyone out there knows the species I would greatly appreciate your input!