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Nick Haddad


Jessica Abbott
Jessica Abbott searching for Helicta satyrs

Helicta satyr larvae
Larval Helicta satyr
(close relative of St. Francis satyr).

Rearing St. Francis satyr caterpillars

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
© Nick Haddad