Pseudobunaea irius

 

 

Distribution:

most of sub-Saharan Africa, the most widespread and common of the Pseudobunae. The moths and caterpillars illustrated here are from South Africa. Local entomologists referred to them as 'natalensis' which is a valid species. However, this seems to be a match for irius.

Wingspan:

in between 10 and 12 cm

Season:

in captivity more or less continuously, however the pupal stage can take a few months (especially during winter). 

Food plants:

Rosaceae (Rosa, Prunus, Crataegus, Pyracantha, Photinia, ...). Alternatively Quercus, Fagus, Corylus and relatives

Rearing:

An easy species. Keep warm (minimum room temperature or warmer), dry and clean. Rear in spacious, well ventilated plastic containers, especially during winter months when the central heating dries out the air.  Avoid condensation and do not give wet leaves. Ready to pupate within 7 to 8 weeks (depending on temperature and quality of the food, a bit faster during warmer months). Even though they brood continuously in captivity, the pupal stage can be several weeks or even 2 or 3 months. The moths need a few weeks of warmer and more humid weather to emerge (a night temperature of around 20°C seems to do the trick). 

Difficulties:

none