Signeta flammeata (Butler)  (Bright Shield-skipper)

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First instar larvae (2mm) newly emerged from egg

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Newly constructed tip-folded leaf shelter, typical of first instar stage larvae.

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Newly constructed rolled-tube leaf shelter, typical of first instar stage larvae.

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Closeup of newly constructed tip-folded leaf shelter, containing a first instar larva.
Shelter was made on a kikuyu grass leaf.

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Second instar larva (4mm)

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Third instar larva (5mm) Third instar larva (6mm) showing the red prothoracic plate behind the head

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Typical multi-leaved shelter constructed by larger larvae,
in this example by an early fourth instar larva on kikuyu

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Fourth instar larva (10mm)

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Final fifth instar larva (25mm) near quiescent stage.
The tiny white dots on the skin are secondary setae

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Head of fifth instar larva; of living larva on left,
and of the shed larval skin after pupation on right.

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Rolled leaf and bark debris within host grass used as shelters by fourth to fifth instar larvae.
The shelters are lined with silk and the ends anchored with silk to the grass stems or other debris.
(In this example the shelters are being used by larvae of Dispar compacta, but S. flammeata shelters are similar)


Photography by R. Grund