The things we cannot see with the naked eye are often far more beautiful than we can even begin to guess at, and the relatively new art of macro photography is opening worlds to us that we could hardly have dreamed existed before it became possible to produce such stunning images.
1. The Monarch Butterfly Egg
Among the most delicate, fragile and often highly colorful creatures on earth, butterflies always fill us with wonder upon catching sight of them, like the staggering spectacle, in the USA, of millions of gloriously colored Monarch butterflies filling the skies on their annual north to south migration, or the huge, electric splendor of the Blue Morpho butterfly species.
2. The Blue Morpho butterfly egg
As visually stunning as the adult butterflies can be, in the endless variety of shapes and colors that we may be privileged to bear witness to, they can, on occasion be outshone by the, to our limited eyes, invisible eggs, from which these glorious winged beauties will eventually appear. Some of these are quite stunning in their own right, nature proving once again just how effortlessly artistic she can be.
3. The Julia Heliconia Butterfly egg
It is not simply a question of how the eggs look in themselves, but sometimes where the butterfly in question chooses to lay them that can make the viewing experience more fascinating. Like the Julia Heliconia species, which seems to prefer the entwined shoots of the Passiflora flowering creeper, as the place to lay eggs, giving rise to images as striking as that shown above.
Some butterflies even make their eggs poisonous, to ward off any predatory creatures that might want to feast on them. One such species, the eggs laced with poisons, including Cyanide, which is ingested by the adults during normal feeding, is the Zebra Longwing Butterfly, which as you can see, makes the eggs brightly colored, orange-hued, as a further warning.
4. The Zebra Longwing Butterfly egg
One rare species, which lays eggs exclusively on parts of the European perennial, the Horseshoe Vetch species of plant, is the Adonis Blue Butterfly, the eggs of which are exceptionally attractive, as the image below clearly shows.
5. The Adonis Blue Butterfly egg
One very common butterfly species that looks less striking as an adult than it does at the egg stage is the Large White butterfly. The eggs are so very alien, yet strangely appealing, in their yellow coloring. It is easy to see where Sci-fi movie makers gain inspiration for ‘alien’ eggs.
6. The Large White Butterfly egg
Whilst not every butterfly is beautiful, such as the aptly named Dingy Skipper, the egg stage of development is a time when most species seem determined to outdo one another for uniqueness and unearthly appearance, strangely fascinating yet undoubtedly odd. The beauty of the natural world, especially those areas normally hidden from our view, is stunningly brought to life by these macro images. Glorious.
7. The Dingy Skipper Butterfly egg
All images used with permission
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.
Eggs9 Egg of the butterfly Carcharodus alceae (Hesperidae) on a leaf of its host plant Malva
eggs10 image credits