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TAWNY COSTER & AUSTRALIAN GLASSWING BUTTERFLIES:
The exotic Acraea terpsicore & our own Australian Native cogeneric Acraea andromacha:
Lots of successful matings of home raised Tawny Costers, have been releasing numerous adult Tawny Costers bred by myself, please keep an eye out for blue 'pearlescent' markings on Tawny Coster butterflies. Unfortunately, couldn't find any black acrylic ink at the time., and please let me know if you see them, it will give us a greater understanding of distances travelled locally or beyond by the butterflies in their pursuit for mates, suitable oviposition sites and reliable sources of nectar. Released the last of my home bred butterflies 15 December, 2017.
The first batch of eggs from the captive mating from one wild-captured adult butterfly and one I raised myself are all doing well, and they themselves have produced young.
11 x Tawny Coster pupae, one eclosion with another to follow tomorrow, and another 3-4 days later. Tawny Coster eggs have hatched (from captive mating)-all larvae doing well..... 2 x Tawny Coster larvae from another batch are expected to pupate shortly.
Another three Tawny Coster pupae from the Tawny Costers I have raised myself in captivity..........and more to follow......and I have successfully bred two Tawny Costers in captivity....
NEWS: Friday, 18th August, 2017- Have found another Tawny Coster pupa this morning at 9:40am - this time from a batch of Tawny Costers I have raised myself.....
30 July, 2017: 9:00am - Have finally found a Tawny Coster pupa, photos coming soon....as soon as I can get a reasonably decent bloody photo...LOL.....
Obviously the photo below has been deleted..you can find it on another page....
Above: Tawny Coster - Acraea terpsicore pupa - combination of three photos - Pupa found 9:00am - photos taken: 11:25:24am. Pupa approx. 22mm long including cremaster. What amazes me is the many hours I spent searching for this elusive pupa...and yet I was alerted to it by a tiny shed skin with attached head capsule on a leaf below.
Original Tawny Coster pupa found in yard - male; Tawny Coster raised by myself -pupa- female, another 3 Tawny Coster pupae - raised by myself, with more to follow......a rather interesting story behind those I have raised myself......
Above Top: Tawny Coster - Acraea terpsicore female flitting around laying eggs on several leaves. Taken: 10/07/2017 at 2:54:49pm.
Bottom: Glasswing - Acraea andromacha. Taken: 26/06/2017 at 12:47:32pm.
Acraea andromacha - Australian Glasswing butterfly larva.
TAWNY COSTER: Acraea terpsicore:
Found 141 eggs - deposited underside of P. foetida leaf on northern to westerly boundary garden - vine draped over murraya. It appears as though the female from yesterday has either come back yesterday afternoon after I left, or this morning.
7 x Tawny Coster butterflies from 12:03pm.
Monday, 10/07/2017: Female Tawny Coster searching P. foetida vine on northern to westerly boundary garden for a place to deposit her eggs at 2:47pm. She appeared to deposit her eggs sparingly on numerous leaves - at least whilst I was there.
Another two Tawny Coster adults seen today one at 12:19pm, the other at 12:47pm. More Tawny Coster larvae it appears from the batch of eggs found with my camera lense earlier high up on vine draped over the murraya.
More photos below of Tawny Coster larvae and Glasswing larvae for comparison. Not the greatest photos, but with several misidentifications I have found on the internet, they are OK for comparison.
The 1st instar larvae (80+) discovered 19/06/2017 at 9:30am( whilst watering the new Adenia heterophylla vines) on our back boundary garden were found today moulting into their 3rd instar, several had already done so. They are definitely Tawny Coster!.
Female Tawny Coster adults have been visiting and were witnessed by myself 19/6/17, 21/06/17, 22/06/17 when it warmed up a bit...for me to venture down the back!!! The female on the 22nd was flying very erratically, obviously recently mated!!.....(.Like their Aussie counterpart the Glasswing they seem to feel 'uncomfortable' with the Sphragis!, and demonstrate the urgency to find a suitable place to lay their eggs.
5:00pm - Some larvae 4 or 5 showing signs of dormancy prior moulting into their 6th instar. Others eating and moving about.
Tawny Coster 5th Instar larvae started their moult into 6th Instar yesterday. 4 or 5 had already moulted by 10:00am today. Female adult Tawny Coster observed around 12:30pm at back boundary garden vines. Another batch of approx. 80+ x 1st instar larvae found the other day (back boundary garden) have mostly moulted into their 2nd instar. Another batch of eggs were also found today (53) on the vine draped over the Murraya-this time on the upper side of the leaf!!!. Whether the 1st instar larvae and new batch of eggs found are Tawny Coster or Glasswing is unknown at this stage.
A few more photos below still many more to catch up on, won't be long and the caterpillars will be into their 5th instar.
NOTES: The desperate measure of the peg worked (28 May, 2017).....however the little guys were involved in a bit of a traffic jam trying to get through the hole in the peg, had to gently lift the leaf tip up onto another new leaf to allow for another escape route, hoping it didn't blow down,..... seeing the Tawny Coster larvae safely moult into their 2nd Instar was a relief. Today the majority of them have moulted into their 3rd Instar, with a few yesterday. Have much to catch up on and just putting together all notes dating back to the 16 May, 2017....and the many photographs taken along the way. Could only find 12 larvae left on the back fence P. foetida vine, but many had dispersed by the 26/5/17?. Cannot find any sign of them. Found another 26 eggs several leaves up from Tawny Coster (72 egg batch - Witnessed being oviposited 16 May, 2017), the other day, and another 68?. Found two of the larvae (found as hatchlings-20 May) that had dispersed following moulting into their 3rd instar. These guys certainly get around for something that small!!.
One was approx. 8 or 9mm long, and had found his or her way to the vine around 30cm or so from the moulting larvae.. Will be so glad to finally have a macro lense which will be coming this month!!!...and help is on it's way for our Glasswings with more A. heterophylla!!!.
NOTES: Sadly on 20 May, we lost the first batch of eggs witnessed by myself (83) oviposited by a Tawny Coster on 13 May, 2017. Either the leaf had fallen off in the wind, these vines being a little droughtstricken) or was eaten by a large grasshopper, of which we have had a bit of plague in the last few months. Prior to this 17/5/17 I found that the eggs were also being eaten and taken away by ants. 37 hatchlings found several leaves up from the eggs had also disappeared there was a big chunk of leaf missing.
Today 28 May, 2017 found the leaf ( the second batch of eggs I discovered a Tawny Coster ovipositing eggs on the 16 May, 2017 (72) hanging on by a 'thread' and it does get windy here! and the wind did pick up today as it does most days .... had to literally peg the leaf to the vine, hopefully that hangs on until the larvae disperse after moulting. They have been moulting into their 2nd Instar today following a brief dormancy from pm 26/5/17. PS: Found a small batch of 26 eggs (2 of which will never hatch) while photographing the Tawny Coster larvae (16/5/17 batch) moulting into their 2nd Instar. Were this batch of 26 eggs oviposited yesterday?...(with the 19 Tawny Costers).....or is this a batch of eggs I missed....or are these Glasswings.... So much has been happening here: Another batch of 1st Instar caterpillars were found 20/5/17 shortly after we lost the first batch of eggs and today 28/5/17 they were moulting into their 3rd Instar.
The poor guys down the back boundary (95 eggs found on 17/5/17) haven't been doing so well...very open to the wind and with the cooler temperatures of 13 and 14 degrees with wind chill factor may have played a role, possibly plant toxins, spray drift from pesticide, or just a bad batch of eggs?. The eggs were also totally soaked with the 178mm rain we received 17/5/17 to 19/5/17.....had found several dead including a few honey ants....and some were found dispersing to other parts of the vine on 26/5/17) just a thought are these Tawny Costers or Glasswings?. Another batch of 30 eggs found 16 or 17? May, 2017 didn't make it...were these Tawny Costers or Glasswings?.
Mature Tawny Coster eggs oviposited 16 May, 2017. Hatchlings emerging 7 days later (23 May, 2017). One hour and 4 minutes for 10 hatchlings to fully emerge from their shell, with others still to break through their shells and 72 eggs 10 minutes to lay. Of the 72 eggs, one was eaten by ants and two had failed to hatch by the next morning?.
Mature Tawny Coster eggs oviposited 16 May, 2017. Hatchlings emerging pm 23/5/17.
Above: Tawny Coster 1st instar larvae with Sugar Ants - Camponotus sp?. Photo Taken: 24/5/17 at 8:13:24am.
Above: Tawny Coster 1st instar larvae. Taken: 25/5/17 at 9:29:42am.
Above: Tawny Coster 1st instar larvae preparing for moult into 2nd instar. Shoring up the leaves and stems with silk, and bridging leaves together. Taken: 27/5/17 at 10:33:35am.
Tawny Coster 1st instar larvae starting to moult. Taken: 28/5/17 at 10:29:58am.
Above: Tawny Coster larvae moulting into 2nd instar. Taken: 28/5/17 at 4:33:01pm.
Tawny Coster 2nd instar larvae - Taken: 31/5/17 at 4:49:55pm, and 4:51:55pm. Still more left to moult.
Above: Tawny Coster 2nd Instar larvae moulting into 3rd Instar. Photos Taken: 1/6/2017 at 12:23:44pm & 12:28:46pm.
Above: Recently moulted 3rd Instar larvae, still 3 x 2nd instar larvae left to moult (orangey guys to the left of the image). Photo taken: 2/6/2017 at 12:08:51pm.
Above: A little closer view of recently moulted 3rd instar larvae. Crop of image above-taken: 2/6/2017 at 12:08:51pm.
Above: Recently moulted (early) 4th Instar Tawny Coster larva. Taken: 6/6/2017 at 1:14:49pm.
Above: (L) 4th Instar (late) Tawny Coster Larvae, and (R) Newly Moulted 5th Instar, Taken: 13/6/2017 at 12:54:30pm & 12:09:28pm. A matter of hours for spines to turn black, head capsule more orangey.
Above (L)-Tawny Coster (early) 6th Instar larva - Taken: 21/6/2017 at 2:46:42pm 7 (R) - Glasswing larva approx. 25mm long-Taken: 21/6/17 at 12:29:47pm.
Above: 6th Instar Tawny Coster larva - approx. 30mm long. I believe this guy was from the batch of 1st instars found on 15/5/17 which had dispersed following moult into 3rd or 4th instar?.
Above: 6th Instar Tawny Coster larva.
Australian Glasswing butterfly - Acraea andromacha:
Australian Glasswing butterfly feeding on weed flowers. Photo taken: 8/5/2017 at 2:08:22pm.
Recently mated Glasswing butterfly. Photo taken: 15/5/2017 at 12:17:32pm.
Above: Glasswing larva found 21/6/2017. Taken: 12:28:34pm.
Above: Glasswing butterfly larva - Taken: 25/5/2017 at 9:21:24am. Different larva than above. Last day I saw this one.
All photos taken hand-held and manually focused contrary to any EXIF data stating otherwise. Lens is always on manual focus due to my camera's Auto Focus's inability to focus on the subject.
Scarlet Percher:- Diplacodes haematodes: