Strange looking hornworm pupae, AKA "Frankenpupa"

bugmankeith

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One of my hornworms pupated so I kept it, and i'm glad I did!

After waiting almost 2 weeks I dug it out of the soil, and uncovered this bizarre looking pupa!

You got me what happened to this one, I dont even know where to begin.

It appears to have 2 probasicis, very short and curved wings that dont fully cover the pupa's body, all it's legs (mabye extra), and a see through mid section. The mid section is hard like the rest of the body, just see through instead.

And yes, it's alive and squirms like any pupa you pick up.

I dont remember any hornworms looking different or acting funny, but if it's a hermaphrodite I wouldnt have noticed that in the larvae.

 

bugmankeith

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I emailed someone this picture of the pupa who studies hornworms and used to live in New York, so mabye he can help me.
 

Mat

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Looks like the larvae had a problem with the final shed into a pupa. It may well survive to emergnce but it will probably not emerge fully and you will have a crippled adult

Matt
 

bugmankeith

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If it fully emerges buy cant fly i'll feed it by hand with sugar water, I also have hummingbird nectar too.

I have a large cage with enough room for it to climb, and set up branches or a feeding station.
 

bugmankeith

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Ok, got an answer that may explain what this is.

About 3-5% of hornworms turn into this because the diet lacked
essential lipids/fats.

This was the result they got from laboratory tests, in other words, this one didnt get proper nutrition, plain and simple.

The proboscis never fused, so I guess thats like having your mouth/tounge divided into 2.
There is a slight chance it could eat by me hand feeding it, but this for sure wouldnt have lived in the wild.

It could produce healthy offspring though/ or mate as long as it's able to eat to nourish itself. It's not genetic, but from lack of nutrition.
 

Tleilaxu

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I cant wait to see that thing when its emerged. Question since this is related to nutrition does that mean that the artifcial diet is lacking something?
 

bugmankeith

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I'm assuming thats the case, but why only some individuals are affected beats me? Then again they were raised in a lab as feeders, with inbreeding and lots of stress having almost 20 individuals stuffed in a tiny jar.

So mabye their bodies are too malnourished/stressed to pupate into a healthy pupae?
 

bugmankeith

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He lived a week and a half more and then his body hardened and the inside was completely hollow.
 
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