An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Posts tagged “Insect Eggs

Monarch Butterfly Eggs Hatching

It appears that this may be a good year for monarchs in the Northeast, as with very little looking, you can find their eggs as well as young monarch caterpillars. Look on the underside of the top leaf or two on young milkweed plants – these leaves are tender and monarchs often lay their tiny, ribbed eggs there (usually one per plant) as they (leaves) are ideal food for young larvae. The first meal a monarch larva eats is its egg shell. It then moves on to nearby milkweed leaf hairs, and then the leaf itself. Often the first holes it chews are U-shaped, which are thought to help prevent sticky sap (which can glue a monarch caterpillar’s mandibles shut) from pouring into the section of leaf being eaten.


Inside View of Leafcutter Bee Cell – Larva and Pollen Supply


Rusty Tussock Moth Egg Case

There are many species of tussock moths, and in their larval, or caterpillar, stage, most are covered with tufts of hair-like setae, some impressively long.  The female rusty tussock moth, Orgyia antiqua, is flightless, so after emerging from her cocoon, she stays put, releasing alluring pheromones and awaiting the arrival of a male suitor.  After mating, she lays up to several hundred eggs on top of her empty cocoon and then dies.  The flat-topped, cylindrical eggs (with a dark depression on their top) overwinter, and as soon as leaf buds start opening, the eggs hatch, with ready-made meals inches away.  Larvae feed on the leaves of birches, oaks, crabapples and black cherry, among others.  Pictured is an egg mass on an apple leaf.

 


Caddisfly Eggs

For a long time I have wondered what creature deposits the 1” to 2”-long jelly-like masses of eggs I  often find this time of year about two-thirds up cattail leaves.  Common sense told me it was an aquatic creature, and indeed, it is, at least during its immature, or larval, stage.  A caddisfly, a small insect with tent-like wings, cleverly lays its eggs where the larvae, once hatched, can simply drop down into their habitat of choice, be it a pond or stream.