Red-spotted Purples and Hibernaculums

I recently, Sept. 9, saw a Red-spotted Purple lay an egg on my dwarf willow, Salix purpurea nana. It’s a very small almost invisible, greenish brown egg on the tip of a leaf. After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the larvae overwinter in their 3rd stage in a hibernaculum. It turns out that a hibernaculum is a rolled up leaf on the willow plant. Since I usually trim up my plants in the spring, there’s a good chance I’ve thrown some of the larvae away in the process of pruning. My solution is to check these plants over very carefully from now until frost, and raise the larvae myself and let them overwinter in my garage.

Red-spotted Purple

Red-spotted Purple


1 Comment

Filed under Butterfly Gardening

One response to “Red-spotted Purples and Hibernaculums

  1. Jean

    Among my favorite butterflies, the RSP. My fav photo is of an RSP ‘nectaring’ on the dog’s dirty bed. One usually hangs around my carport.

    Enjoyed your site, especially the table of plants that you’ve trialed. Somewhat different from my experiences in some cases, but my garden is more subtropical.


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