SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BUTTERFLIES

Polyura sempronius (Fabricius)    (Tailed Emperor)

 

A series of first instar larva photos from time of egg emergence to second instar premoult stage

Photography by R. Grund except where noted

 

Photography by L. Hunt

First instar larva emerging from egg

First instar immediately after emerging from egg and after making a silk pad (Photo 1).
Head horns and tail fork have not started to expand and are pink coloured

On left is closeup of egg near larval emergence showing the unexpanded horns of larva on left hand side.
On right is closeup of newly emergent larva from its egg with its unexpanded horns. 

On left, 2 minutes after Photo 1, larva starting to expand horns and tail fork, and starting to eat empty egg shell.
On right, 3 minutes after Photo 1, tail fork finished expanding

On left, 5 minutes after Photo 1, and on right 10 minutes after Photo 1.   Head horns now expanded

On left, 15 minutes after Photo 1, head horns fully expanded.
On right, 30 minutes after Photo 1, head horns and tail fork now starting to harden and darken.  Egg shell nearly eaten

On left, 45 minutes after Photo 1, closeup of darkening horns and tail fork.
On right, 80 minutes after Photo 1, darkening nearly complete

Sixteen hours after Photo 1, the larva is fully coloured and has had its first meal of green leaf.
It is sitting in a disturbed pose with its front end raised

First instar larva aligned along midrib of Robinia leaf.   Silk pad on which it rests is obvious,
and also the silk trails to where it has been eating at holes in edges of leaf

 

Photography by L. Hunt

Late first instar larvae that have acquired green colour from eating green leaves of the foodplant

Closeup of head of first instar larva.
Long white bristles below the mouth are used to detect the silk trails