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Engineered for survival, insect eggs hang on and hatch wherever their parents deposit them.
Perched on the tendril of a Passiflora plant, the egg of the Julia heliconian butterfly may be safe from hungry ants. This species lays its eggs almost exclusively on this plant's twisted vines.
Stinkbugs often lay their eggs in clumps. Individual eggs are glued not only to each other but also to the leaf on which they are left. The delicate projections may aid, like snorkels, in respiration.
The mosaic pattern on an owl butterfly egg looks like a landing pad. At the center is a minute opening, called a micropyle, through which the sperm enters the egg.
The red band signals a chemical reaction that follows fertilization. Inside the egg is the germ of a blue morpho, one of the world's largest butterflies, with a wingspan of five to eight inches.
The Adonis blue butterfly is rare because it's choosy. It lays its eggs (like the one above) only on horseshoe vetch, a European perennial. What's more, it looks for patches cropped by rabbits that allow easy landing.
On this butterfly egg, the lacy pattern marks the micropyle, where sperm enters. A similar design appears on the scaly wings that gave the red lacewing butterfly its name.
The egg of the dingy skipper is laid on bird's-foot trefoil. As its name suggests, the grown butterfly, found throughout Europe and in parts of Asia, is not known for its beauty.
The yellow eggs of the large white butterfly are laid in clumps on the undersides of cabbage leaves (above) and brussels sprouts.
The orange hue of this zebra longwing butterfly egg may warn predators: "Eat me if you dare." The threat would not be idle. The egg contains cyanide and other toxins ingested by adults from the plants they eat.
Originally posted by speculativeoptimist
Nice find as always TVN! It is rare that we get such a view of insect eggs and I dig the patterns. It got me thinking that eggs have to be designed to endure and I noticed a subtle consistency with that stacked web pattern. I bet that architecture is strong, and perhaps would make a good building design. Some look like Buckminister's geodesic designs, aka buckey balls.
Originally posted by zooplancton
it sure seems like nature totally 'gets' building strong structures.
mind blowing photos! wondering if they were taken with an electron microscope?
(me thinks not as i think you have to gold plate objects to shoot with an electron micro)
thanks for sharing the news.