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pear slug - Caliroa cerasi

pear slug - Caliroa cerasi
Elkton, Douglas County, Oregon, USA
August 1, 2009
Size: approx 6mm
August 1, 2009:

Curious to see for myself what a pear slug turns into and what it has to do to get there, I solicited this little fellow. Found it on a Hawthorn tree. After a few photos, I clipped the branch and transferred it to its new home.

August 8, 2009:

See second and third images. The pear slug has found a comfortable spot and appears to have pupated. I believe the object across the pupa's middle is the shed skin. The eyes and wings are already visible. The pupa also seems to have shrunk about 1mm.

More to come via comments, below.

Images of this individual: tag all
pear slug - Caliroa cerasi pear slug - Caliroa cerasi pear slug - Caliroa cerasi pear slug - Caliroa cerasi pear slug - Caliroa cerasi

August 10, 2009
Two days have gone by. Yesterday, when I took images, I thought I might have lost this little fellow. Turns out, to my surprise, it had moved to another leaf. I didn't know pupa could do that. Regardless, there doesn't seem to be any change in appearance from August 8.

And thanks for the well-wishes, Beatriz - I'm already dreading the cost of sending it off to college.


Hmm. . .
Another explanation could be that this is another larval instar, not a pupa yet. Perhaps the "black belt" is old tegument that failed to shed completely.

Hope you're not as disappointed as I am.
Last night, after reviewing images of this pear slug, I noticed an egg attached to one of the leaves in my specimen jar. Fearing the egg might hatch and be harmful to the pear slug pupa, I clipped off that part of the branch with the egg and transferred it to a separate jar. (I had seen eggs like this in the guide, and the only match I could find was a green lacewing.) I figured, what the heck, I'll see what this turns into, as well - does it turn into a lacewing larva. After cozying the egg into its new home, I returned my attention to the pear slug, but much to my chagrin, the pear slug had disappeared. It was no longer stuck to the leaf it had been secured to. I spent the next two hours scouring my workbench and all adjacent areas in search of the little critter, but I couldn't find it anywhere. This morning I continued the search, but still couldn't find it. I'll continue searching, but I'm afraid this little fellow has successfully avoided having to go to college. It seems that, though I have successfully raised an Asian Multicolored Ladybug and a brood of Eulophus, the forces that be are conspiring against me to raise a pear slug. My first attempt was almost thwarted when the pear slug escaped, though I found it later in the day trekking across across my workbench. After recapturing it, I managed to get it to grow into the second stage of its pupal-ness. Then I inadvertently squashed it. Now this, a renegade pear slug that's run away from home - probably due to no effort of its own.

But all is not lost. I have one pear slug left. It's still freely roaming around its enclosure, and has not yet pupated. I will continue to try raising this pear slug until I somehow manage to screw that up too, though they say the third time's a charm, so who knows . . . ? I'd like to post the progress of this third pear slugs' progress, but I don't want to create a third post that's left dangling. Do you think I should document the whole process from pear slug to saw fly first and then post the results, or should I take a chance that this time I won't mess things up and post each event as it occurs?



PS - I went out this morning and scoured the Comice pear tree and the Hawthorn tree but could only find remnants of where the pear slugs had been. I fear they've all pupated. One thing I did notice however, was that more than half the leaves showing traces of pear slug activity had the remains of what looked like a discarded outer skin from the molt of larva to pupa. I think the black belt on this larva/pupa was an incomplete shedding of that larval skin. It would also appear that once molted to pupa, the pear slug allows itself to fall to the ground where it finishes its pupal development. I couldn't find any signs of an actual pupa on either tree, and trying to find a pupa in the dirt is like looking for a piece of dirt in the dirt.

Life cycle
Good luck raising your baby! This seems to be the year of the life cycles. I am glad to see more and more contributors raising all kinds of things. We don't have an adult of this species yet, so it would be very valuable.
Strange black belt!

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