NABA South Texas Home Page

Guava Skipper (Phocides polybius)

All photos were shot by Mike Quinn in a Donna, Texas 
backyard butterfly garden unless indicated otherwise.


Guava eggs darken as they mature. 


Just hatched larvae often continue feeding on the shell of their former egg.


These caterpillars are actually sparring for possession of the leaf.


Every great journey begins with a single bite?


The caterpillar forms a leaf flap by chewing two converging channels from the leaf's edge.


Then the larva begins the process of folding over the leaf flap to form a nest or refugium.
The "hinge" is reinforced with silk.


To secure the cover on its refugium, the larva sews strands of silk between the flap and leaf. 
As the silk strands dry, they contract. Note that the first series of silk strands to the right are already slack.


A second instar caterpillar emerges from its refugium. (Note the egg shell to the right.)


The third instar larva develops yellow bands that may serve as warning colors.


As the caterpillar continues to molt, its bands become more prominent.


A waxy exudate forms on the outside of the larva prior to pupating.
Note the yellow "eye spots" on the lower front of the head capsule.


The final larval skin and head capsule are molted without breaking the lasso around the thorax.
Note the cross pattern of silk anchoring the terminal end of the pupa.


Elvis has left the building...


27 Apr 2003 / NABA SoTx Home