Thursday, June 28, 2012

First The Egg....

Yesterday a monarch butterfly, the first of the season I have seen, laid a few eggs on a tropical milkweed plant that overwintered in our solarium/greenroom.  She fluttered around, settling on several leaves.  In this photograph, you can see her abdomen curved toward the leaf in the process of egg-laying.

Monarch female on  Asclepias curassavica

She did not like my presence and flitted around on the terrace seemingly to chase me away, not returning to the plant until after I had retreated inside.  This was repeated several times as I tried to get a photo but she would not tolerate my getting close enough to get a decent image of this delicate process. Can you blame her?

The egg is delicately fluted.  There are several on the plant which I am not quite sure can stand the defoliation that is coming.  I am prepared to transplant the caterpillars to a common milkweed in the field if necessary.

Monarch egg
And so it begins....

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