Butterfly Eggs

butterfly egg
Julia Heliconia Butterfly Egg in a tendrill of a Passion flower creeper. The Julia Heliconia is an orange butterfly found along the periphery of the Gulf of Mexico. Image by Martin Oeggerli. www.micronaut.ch

butterfly eggs close up
Large white butterfly egg (Pieris brassicae).
The yellow eggs of the large white butterfly are laid in clusters on the undersides of leaves in the cabbage family. Photograph by Martin Oeggerli. www.micronaut.ch

butterfly egg
Scanning electron micrograph of Large White Butterfly (Pieris brassicae) eggs. PSMicrographs. www.psmicrographs.co.uk

butterfly egg
Red lacewing butterfly egg micropyle.
At one end of the egg is a complex design, at its center, a minute opening called a micropyle, through which the sperm enters the egg. This is where water and air also enter while the egg is developing. Photograph by Martin Oeggerli. www.micronaut.ch

butterfly egg
Owl Butterfly Eggs.
Each butterfly egg is surrounded by a hard outer shell, called the chorion, to protect the developing egg. The chorion is lined with a thin coating of wax inside to keep the egg from drying out. Via: myfunnypets.net

butterfly egg
Owl Butterfly Egg, close-up.
At one end of the egg is a complex design, at its center a minute opening, called a micropyle, through which the sperm enters the egg. The male passes a sperm packet called a spermatorphore to the female during in flight or on the ground mating. Internal fertilization takes place as the sperm travels down the female’s egg-laying tube and fertilizes each egg as it passes. Photograph by Martin Oeggerli. www.micronaut.ch

owl butterfly
Owl Butterfly wing paterns mimic owl’s eyes.
Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species. deviantart.com

butterfly eggs
Lesser Owl Butterfly Eggs in Colorado.

butterfly eggs
Butterfly eggs with eyes. Unknown type.
The egg stage lasts a few weeks in most butterflies, but eggs laid close to winter in areas with moderate temperatures, go through a resting stage and the larva will emerge in spring. Other butterflies may lay their eggs in the spring and have them hatch in the summer. Butterflies may have one (in cold climates) or more broods (in tropical climates) per year. Some species of butterflies over winter as eggs, some as caterpillars, some as a pupa (chrysalis), some even over winter as adults. Image via: myfunnypets.net

butterfly egg
Adonis blue butterfly egg- Lysandra bellargus.
Photograph by Martin Oeggerli. www.micronaut.ch

butterfly egg
Adonis blue butterfly egg.
Photograph by Martin Oeggerli

butterfly egg
Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly (Atlides halesus) eggs on mistletoe leaf (6x) by David Millard of Austin, Texas. nikonsmallworld.com

butterfly egg
Reakirt’s blue butterfly (Hemiargus isola) egg on a pink powderpuff bud (Mimosa strigillosa) magnified 6 times. By David Millard of Austin, Texas. nikonsmallworld.com

butterfly egg close up
Blue morpho butterfly egg.
The dark band signals a chemical reaction which occurs after fertilization. Image copyright: rsbfotos@comcast.net, www.pbase.com

butterfly egg photography
Question Mark Butterfly Eggs, Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius), London, Ontario, Canada. A common, medium-sized, orange/black butterfly found in wooded areas and suburbs in the U.S. and Canada. With its wings folded together, it resembles a dead leaf. Image copyright: Jay Cossey. www.photographsfromnature.com

butterfly egg photography
Red admiral butterfly egg in Stinging nettle trichomes (10x). By David Mallard. nikonsmallworld.com

butterfly egg photography
Egg of the butterfly Polygonia c-album on a leaf of Salix caprea. Image by By Gilles San Martin. flickr.com

butterfly eggs
Eggs of the butterfly Carcharodus alceae (Hesperidae) on a leaf of its host plant Malva sp. Image by By Gilles San Martin. flickr.com

butterfly egg
Egg of the butterfly Pararge aegeria with embryo/caterpillar visible inside. You can see through the egg shell, the head capsel (blackish) with the ocelli (eyes), the mandibles (reddish) and the base of the caterpillar body bristles (grayish dots on the lower part). Image by By Gilles San Martin. olympusbioscapes.com

monarch butterfly egg
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar. Young milkweed plants are tender and monarchs often lay their small, ribbed eggs on the underside of an upper leaf (usually one per plant). 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. Photo by Mary Holland. naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

monarch butterfly eggs
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar. From above to this…leaf-gorged critter in a matter of weeks… Photo by David FitzSimmons. curious-critters.com

monarch butterfly egg
Monarch egg surface.
Via: visuals.unlimited.com

butterfly egg
Black swallowtail butterfly egg.
Butterfly eggs are fixed to the leaf/plant with a special glue which hardens quickly. The nature of this extremely strong glue is still unknown. Image copyright: Jay Cossey. www.photographsfromnature.com

butterfly egg
Eggs for breakfast.

butterfly caterpillar
Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) Caterpillar.
Copyright Jay Cossey. www.photographsfromnature.com

The butterfly’s life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa (chrysalis) and adult. Some species are considered pests in their larval stages as they can damage crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination, and the caterpillars of a few butterflies eat harmful insects (e.g., Harvesters).

Written by Keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building. Keiren originally founded Inspiration Green in 2007, which merged with Insteading in 2016.


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  1. Isn’t evolution wonderful?

    Now if man could evolve away from myth, maybe, just maybe, we could all get along.

    Maybe we could stop killing in the name of some deity… Holy wars are proof creation is nonsense. Why would a god make life, only to have it destroy itself? Way to think…

    And whats with man spending all the money on weapons to kill, while thousands of children die of starvation each day… But, sure there’s a loving god out in space, who is just waiting (for something) to come and save man from himself.

    Maybe Santa will bring him, or he will show up with the tooth fairy. Maybe he’ll be in an egg from the Easter Bunny.

    I think all good christservatives, should hold their breath until he show’s… That’s the way some children get their way.

    Ed Hart

  2. Hi Ed,

    If you believe in evolution, then you believe that organisms needed to develop territoriality which usually includes up to killing their own kind and others to protect their area. And that is natural.

    Maybe people killing other people over religion is an evolved form of territoriality. Where perhaps one’s belief is their ‘area’ and when someone invades it with their different beliefs, killing ensues. And that is just an idea that doesn’t really relate to the point I want to make. But perhaps it makes what’s happening in the world more understandable and forgivable?


    Maybe it’s when people are so sure of their beliefs that they instantly and emphatically deny all others helps breed the urge to kill. So perhaps going online, or door to door, or handing out flyers in a parking lot, and spraying ‘I’m right and your wrong’ everywhere, benign and well intentioned as it may seem, is feeding the fire.

    So if you really don’t like holy wars, maybe you should just enjoy the butterfly eggs and comment on how amazing they look, however they may or may not have come to be.

    This is not meant to be malevolent or spiteful either. Just food for thought. Like a little monarch egg sack for your brain 🙂



  3. every house must have its builder

    You can push the builder out of your frame of reference and you can blame a human choice to be selfish, arrogant, cruel or simply undeveloped on God and then make a leap to say humanity’s shortfall is God’s – but it is a leap nonetheless and is not required by logic to do so.

    My leap is backed by scripture that states the maker respects your choices enough to back off and let you make them. He makes butterflies to prove his presence, creativity and genius – and goodness. The unnecessary frivolity of their beauty (beyond their utility) reflects his personality just like a painting will reflect mine or yours if we make one.

    That freedom to choose might cause a pause to take seriously what we do happen to choose, because if He is good, and if we have any future after this life we may be asked to account for what we do with what we know just like kids on a playground might have to answer for their free choices afterward.

    Also not meant spitefully at all – just a different perspective – I think the design in a butterfly scale at 15000X magnification speaks loudly of intricate intelligence behind it all. Freedom granted does not disprove it.

    just a little butterfly egg for your brain



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