Agraulis timelapse?

Hi all,

would any of you be able to extract useful data if I continuously recorded an uninterrupted timelapse video of a captive Agraulis vanillae larva until it pupated, or is A. vanillae so well-studied that such an endeavor would not yield much new information?

(due to the personal energy/time expense needed to pull off such a feat I’ll probably just dump the caterpillar back onto a wild hostplant if the latter statement is true)

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There’s never too much data, but it’s totally up to you to record it or not, we only will be happy if you will.


I suppose I need to rephrase the question then: would said timelapse yield data which is “new” or unusually notable compared to merely photographing a large number of wild Agraulis in situ?

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if this is your main concern, I would contact the top identifiers of the taxon. They might know.
but I want to echo what @melodi_96 said: it’s more important that you have fun and enjoy using iNaturalist.


I’m not an entomologist, but I highly doubt data like that would be useful for research purposes per se. The life cycle of gulf frits is pretty well known, but the more important thing is that it would only be one caterpillar. In order to get new and useful data, you’d need to record numerous (at least a couple of dozen) larvae. It would also be really important to have a specific question you want to address (or even a broad line of questions), as fitting a question to the data would be really difficult- particularly if you don’t record an absurd amount of data. That’s because a huge number of variables will affect most questions you want to answer. Unless you intentionally control them, some variables will invariably ruin the data for nearly all of the questions you might want to ask.

Of course, that is not to say that you shouldn’t do it- it WOULD be very interesting, fun (hopefully… for you), and other people could potentially find it extremely useful for entertainment and educational/demonstrative purposes.


Thanks for the detailed analysis. I’m dumping the prickly worm nevertheless, though.

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