Invertebrate Species in progress

Hermes Copper Larval Captive Rearing

Captive rearing is a potential management tool for fire risk reduction and to improve connectivity (augment natural populations). However, Hermes copper larvae are extremely difficult to rear in captivity, and no one has successfully reared a Hermes copper from egg to adult. Rearing efforts in 2013 provided important information in terms of foraging requirements for early instar larvae, however, breaking winter diapause remained a challenge. Researchers conducted an additional year of captive rearing, a first year with a sophisticated rearing chamber at the San Diego Zoo which can control temperature and humidity. Eggs were obtained in May-June 2016 for rearing activities in the spring of 2017. This project attempted to rear eggs to determine the optimal conditions for rearing Hermes copper in captivity and establish protocols. This is one critical barrier to several management approaches that are available for other butterfly species, which can be reared in captivity for study or for reintroduction projects.
Project Groups
Super Group: Rare Butterfly Management and Conservation Planning

SDMMP_2017_19647237 Hermes Copper Butterfly

Project Focus
Project type: Other
Target species: Hermes copper
Data steward: Dan Marschalek
Investigator: Douglas Deutschman
Main implementing entity: San Diego State University
Point of contact: Dan Marschalek
SDMMP lead: Kris Preston
Study lead: Dan Marschalek