Identifying Garden Fresh Eggs

This tale in an update with new additions to one originally published by Loret T. Setters on March 13, 2015 at the defunct national blog nativeplantwildlifegarden[dot]com. Click the date to view reader comments and find working links to other stories.

Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina) made a nest in the SALTBUSH (Baccharis sp.)
Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina) made a nest in the SALTBUSH (Baccharis sp.)

A February post in 2015 showed the power of love in my native plant and wildlife garden with photos of an array of mating critters.

By March, it seems the seeds have been planted, so to speak, and the eggs are arriving.

Mom bluebird is incubating faithfully
Mom bluebird is incubating faithfully

Most obvious would be the bluebirds, that have had several broods each year since I started encouraging them by putting up a nest box. They began building in late February this year. March 3rd was the first time I checked and sure enough, there were two eggs.
npwgresizebluebird2eggs030315

I checked a second time on March 7th and it seems that the final number of eggs is 5. Stay tuned for the results when they hatch. It takes approximately 13 days for incubation so I’ll start looking for mom and dad bringing home grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars on or around March 20th.

Long tailed skipper butterfly eggs on ticktrefoil
Long tailed skipper butterfly eggs on ticktrefoil

Earlier in the week I spotted a Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly (Urbanus proteus) dancing along the leaves of the Desmodium spp. I checked around and yes, indeed, I found some eggs. Butterfly eggs are extremely minute but if you watch the female butterfly flitting from leaf to leaf, you can pretty much find one or two if you have your reading glasses nearby.

Cloudless Sulphur on Partridge Pea
Cloudless Sulphur on Partridge Pea

A few days later I watched a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) landing on new growth of the Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) which is just beginning to leaf out. It was barely 2 inches tall and yet mom found it.

Eggs are miniscule
Eggs are miniscule

The next day I made a point to locate some eggs and was pleased to see that she must have been around earlier in the week as well. How do I know? Well, while photographing the eggs I encountered a small caterpillar as well.

Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar
Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar

So breeding is in full swing around here and it is nice to see the wildlife garden rewards returning for 2015.

Closeup of Cloudless Sulphur eggs
Closeup of Cloudless Sulphur eggs

Past observations over the years have led me to discover a lot of different type of eggs in my native plant and wildlife garden.

butterfly eggs are TINY. Great Southern White Butterfly (Ascia monuste) eggs shown on Virginia Pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum)
butterfly eggs are TINY. Great Southern White Butterfly (Ascia monuste) eggs shown on Virginia Pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum)

Here in Florida, Water Cowbane (Tiedemannia filiformis) is a native host of the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio polyxenes):
npwgresizeblackswallowtailEggsSept2014

Crab Spiders (Mecaphesa spp.) are among the many species of arachnids that lay eggs in a sac attached the tips of some grasses or other plants:
npwgresizecrabspidereggs112613

On the other hand, Wolf spiders such as this Thinlegged Wolf Spider (likely Pardosa sp.) carry the sac around with them.
npwgresizeunknownspiderwitheggsacaugust2012

The Bronze frog (Lithobates clamitans clamitans) lays eggs in water:
npwgresizefrogeggsFeb2013

Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) lays eggs in a mass called an ootheca:mantidEggCaseSept2013

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly (Eurytides marcellus) lay eggs on larval host Pawpaw (Asimina spp.)
Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly (Eurytides marcellus) lay eggs on larval host Pawpaw (Asimina spp.)
 Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio palamedes) uses Red or Swamp bay (Persea spp.) as a host
Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio palamedes) uses Red or Swamp bay (Persea spp.) as a host (look at the underside of the leaves)
As their common name suggests, you'll find the eggs of Redheaded Pine Sawfly (Neodiprion lecontei) on Pinus spp. needles
As their common name suggests, you’ll find the eggs of Redheaded Pine Sawfly (Neodiprion lecontei) on Pinus spp. needles
Leaf Beetle (Ophraella sp. likely conferta) eggs were found on Goldenrod
Leaf Beetle (Ophraella sp. likely conferta) eggs were found on Goldenrod

Leaf-footed bug eggs (species unknown) can be found on the leaves of many different plants:
npwgresizegoldeggsLeaffootMay2013

Another species of Leaf-footed bugs has larger eggs:

Likely Acanthocephala sp. eggs on Shyleaf (Aeschynomene americana))
Likely Acanthocephala sp. eggs on Shyleaf (Aeschynomene americana)

Automeris io moth is a generalist using several different plants as larval hosts, but eggs are shown here on the leaf of a Florida Native Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis):
npwgresizeiomotheggsRedbudOct2014

I’ve found Katydid eggs on my sycamore and wasps were already parasitizing the eggs:
npwgresizekatydideggsJuly2012A

Zebra longwing butterflies (Heliconius charithonia) use Passionvine a.k.a. maypop (Passiflora incarnata) as a larval host:
npwgresizezebralongwingeggsJune2012

The Beneficial Lacewings sometimes lay eggs in a spiral pattern, but I’ve also found them hanging in a line on the start wire for the Barbecue:
npwgresizelacewingeggsBBQJuly2013A

Owlflies (Ululodes spp.) lay tiny eggs along the stalk of tall dried grasses:
npwgresizeowlflyeggsJune2013

So, what species are showing up and leaving eggs in your basket?

Green lacewing eggs layed in a spiral pattern on Saw Palmetto
Green lacewing eggs layed in a spiral pattern on Saw Palmetto
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s