Filming VarWild: Euchloe crameri

Life cycle of butterflies in Provence


The Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri Butler, 1869)

The Western Dappled White is widespread and abundant in the South of France. It flies in two generations, from the end of February until May, and from mid-May until July. The 2nd generation is often more abundant than the first one. It hibernates in the stage of a chrysalis. The two sexes look alike. The eggs are laid singly on inflorences of different Brassicacea, locally on Biscutella laevigata, Sinapis arvensis or Istatis tinctoria.



Parasitoïdes

Braconidae : Microplitis retentus parasitizes Euchloe crameri

The parasitoid wasp Microplitis retentus (Papp, 1984)(Hymenoptera : Ichneumonoidea : Braconidae) parasitizes the young caterpillars of butterflies belonging to the tribe Anthocharini of the family Pieridae.

This wasp of 5 mm parasitized a young caterpillars of the Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri Butler, 1869). Using its ovipositor, it inject a single egg in its victim. The parasitoid larva develops inside its host (endoparasitoid) where it lives off the haemolymph, without preventing the host's growth. When the caterpillar becomes about 15 mm it climbs high up on the food-plant, and after some time the larva erupts between the 2nd and 3rd abdominal prolegs, and then it immediately spins a cocoon next to the caterpillar, which remains alive for a few days.


In the rearing shown here, the wasp emerged from its cocoon quite rapidly, and there is then a further generation, overwintering in the cocoon. However, it may be more usual for there to be only one generation, with harder and darker cocoons that withstand not only the rest of the summer but also the winter.


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