Adapting Pieris to laboratory culture

  • Dear everyone,

    Could somebody share some advice on breeding Pieris brassicae in laboratory conditions/at home. I’ve already read the previous treads here, but perhaps somebody of you could catch what am I doing wrong so my butterflies don’t breed. Now with the summer season ahead I’m looking forward to collecting some new individuals in the wild, but I need to find a solution as I need to establish a stable population all year long.

    The individuals were collected in the wild last year as caterpillars and now are emerging from their winter hibernation. The colony is held in 60x60x60 BugDorm cage, fed with 10% honey solution, at 26 degrees C, 16:8 L:D cycle under led lamps (about 5000Lux in the cage center, 3000K light bulbs). The air humidity in the room is about 30% RH, but I’m spraying the cage regularly, so it should be higher inside. For oviposition a Brassica oleracea is placed into the cage. For now several females and males have emerged, but there are no eggs (well, there were 18 seperate ones, in a clusters with 5,10,3 eggs together that didn't hatch). Butterflies are feeding regularly as well as drinking distilled water from cage walls once it is sprayed.

    I understand that lighting could be a key factor to successful breeding. Are there any specific lamps You could suggest to use for rearing Lepidoptera? I’ve found some old scientific articles that bilateral light could achieve better results, but I haven’t tried it jet.



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  • I tried feeding them with sugar, then as nothing happened i switched to honey hopping for some changes.

    Well, the individuals keep on hatching and dying living about week till two, as they run into walls and damage their wings. Altogether at the same time there are usually 2-3 males and 4-6 females. The butterfly activity varies day from day, there are few days when they fly around the cage in others they spend the day sitting on the walls near the lamps.

    Handpairing could be the least desirable option as natural mating would be preferred for the colony maintenance, but I'm starting to gather information about that as well.



  • Ok

    in my opinion They are dying too fast. They are longliving 3 or 4 weeks should be minimum. So they have stress. One possible reason: to many individuals in one cage. But I think is is too hot. 26 degrees at night? Some species need some resting to make mating easier. Some say males are too lasy to mate after feeding a lot...

    Best regards

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