Jessica Abbott searching for Helicta satyrs
Larval Helicta satyr
(close relative of St.
|Rearing St. Francis satyr
In addition to restoring wetland habitats, one key to recovering St.
Francis satyrs will be to learn how to rear their caterpillars in
captivity. St. Francis satyr adults each produce in the hundreds
of eggs, only a handful of which grow to adulthood. By taking a
fraction of eggs from a small number of females and rearing them to
adulthood, we would then create a source for restoring new populations
in high quality habitats. This would enable expansion of St.
Francis satyr's range in and around Ft. Bragg, and reduce its
possibility of extinction.
NC State undergraduate Jessica Abbott has spearheaded our effort to
rear St. Francis satyrs. She is accomplishing this goal in three
steps. First, she worked to germinate and raise multiple sedge
species that are possible food plants for the caterpillars.
Second, using the closely related Helicta satyr, she worked out rearing
requirements and host choices on potted plants. Third, the final
step is to take the lessons we've learned thus far to successfully rear
St. Francis satyr.
Jessica's work builds on research accomplished in collaboration with
Steve Hall at the NC Natural Heritage Program. Our research on
St. Francis satyr is funded by DoD, Department of
the Army, Endangered
Species Branch at Ft. Bragg