Wardrobe change

Acronicta laetifica

5th instar

6th instar (same individual)

I’m not sure why this species goes through such a drastic change –  it keeps roughly the same head capsule patterns and dorsal stripe, but the colors are all switched around. Perhaps in the wild this is associated with a change in behavior? The greener, earlier form is more likely to sit on leaves, perhaps the brown/gray form is a bark rester? This is tough to observe in the lab because they are just kept in vials with leaves. I did find one large A. laetifica (brown/gray form, last instar) in the wild, but it was from beating a tree, so I don’t know how it was resting naturally. Anyone have other insights?

Posted on August 1, 2011, in Acronicta, Acronictinae, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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