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Photo#186985
Large histerid larva builds pupal chamber. - Hololepta

Large histerid larva builds pupal chamber. - Hololepta
Hudson, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
May 31, 2008
When I opened their rearing chamber to separate the two big histerid larvae as precaution against a ruinous battle between histerids, I noticed one of these larvae was curled in repose beneath this chunk of bark on the bottom of the plastic container. I figured it was thinking about pupating and reopening it yesterday I half expected to see a big, flattened pupa. Instead there was nothing! I searched the container in vain. Where could the larva have gone? I was holding the bark chunk in my hand as I searched when suddenly a slight movement caught my eye. I watched intently and then saw there was a thin membrane and there was something moving on the other side of it causing it to deflect periodically. I gently prodded the membrane till I had torn a small hole in it. I thought I saw tiny legs. Then I saw the wicked mandibles thrust out briefly. I knew there was no pupa to be seen -- yet. In another few days I'll check again.

I looked in on the other big histerid larva too. It had assumed the same curled posture beneath a practically soggy piece of bark. I wondered if the sogginess was caused by the larva. Obviously these guys secrete a fluid that firms up to bind debris together in the walls of a pupal chamber. The first one's chamber had been very thin and membranous where it had been in contact with the bottom of the plastic leftover container. Had it been thicker I would not have seen movement and might be still sctaching my head over the large larva's disapearance.

Images of this individual: tag all
Large, unknown larva - Hololepta Large, unknown larva - Hololepta Large, unknown larva - Hololepta Large, unknown larva - Hololepta Large, unknown larva - Hololepta Large histerid larva builds pupal chamber. - Hololepta

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