Colias hecla

Hostplant: The larva feeds on Astragalus alpinus

Lifecycle and behavior: Eggs were deposited easily by the female in captivity, both on fresh and dead hostplant. The eggs used about 1 week to hatch, having a yellow color when newly deposited and later changing to a orange color. Various sources online says that these hibernate atleast once as larva, often twice. It all depends on the weather conditions up north. In my breeding 7 larva went all the way through to adults in the same season. The rest of the larva hibernated as L2 and L3. The larval stage lasted about 3,5 weeks and they molted 3 times. They were prepupa for 2 days and then pupa for about a week before hatching.

The adult butterfly is confined to the arctic part of Norway and usually flies in July, but depending on the weather conditions it can be on the wing in late June well into August. I found one source online claiming that the adult butterfly can be seen as late as September in warm summers, which maybe imply that they are able to have a second generation in the wild if the conditions are right. As demonstrated in my breeding this might be the case.

Note: The scandinavian populations are regarded as ssp. sulitelma. One female hatched as an abberant, most likely due to temperature changes during the pupal stage. This was completely unintentional.

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