Left: Calophasia lunula larvae on Dalmatian toadflax.
2nd instar on left and 5th instar on right.
Right: Calophasia lunula adult moth.
Photo's from slide show: Biological Control of Noxious
Weeds, by Reeves Petrof.
Picture links- slow downloads:
pupa from cocoon
set up1- for adults to lay eggs 
collecting small larvae from cage
Conservation Dist. Tour 10-99
Students With Larvae
can be reared and released on both Dalmatian and yellow toadflax.
The larvae defoliate (feed on the foliage of) the plant. The adult
moths are nectar feeders and cause no damage to the plant.
1. You can mass rear (raise many) for release (as an individual or
a group such as 4H).
2. You can mass rear these in a classroom setting.
3. You can rear smaller numbers as a demonstration project, fair or
science fair project, or an individual student project.
What you need:
1. The insect.
2. A large source of Dalmatian and/or yellow toadflax to feed the larvae.
3. Rearing equipment and labor.
4. Release sites.
How to rear them:
Calophasia lunula are established in a number
of sites in Western Montana (for instance around the Missoula, MT area).
You can call your county extension
agent and/or county weed supervisor and request the permission to collect
larvae from the nearest location of establishment. Be sure
you have permission to collect from all involved in this site!!!!
We suggest that you hand pick 100-300 larvae.
The larvae can usually be found clinging to and feeding on toadflax plants
from mid May to late July. Look for feeding damage (defoliation of
the stems) and the black and yellow larvae. Place the larvae in glass,
plastic or paper containers with some foliage. Be careful not to
let them over heat (cook) in the sunlight. Transport them in a cooler
with an ice pack (not directly touching the container). Have an adequate
amount of foliage within the container for the larvae to spread out and
feed on. Keep the density low in the containers as the larvae are
quite space competitive and the larger larvae will nip and stress, injure
or kill the smaller larvae. They can be stored in this manner for
several days in a refrigerator or cooler.
Attempting to collect the adults with a sweep net
would probably be an exercise in futility as the moths spread out and rest
on almost any object in their environment, not just toadflax. They
are also very hard to see because of their camouflaged markings.
C. lunula eat both yellow
toadflax (butter and eggs, common toadflax) (Linaria
vulgaris (Mill.)) and Dalmatian
toadflax (Linaria dalmatica
(L.) Miller). They seem to grow equally well when fed on
either plant. (1) The larvae eat the leaves and the tender new stems.
When they are in the 4th and 5th (last two) instars (an instar is the time
between skin sheddings for a larva).
1 meter square cage set up for Calophasia lunula egg production.
Materials needed: 1) two-three healthy toadflax plants much foliage, 2)
20-50 pupae on slightly moist, steril sand, 3) small honey/water solution
(40% honey) container for the moths to feed on, and 4) a timed grow-light
Photo's by WHS students Loni Amos and Jessica Bell, and WHS teacher
1. Breitenfeldt, Todd, Masters Thesis