Thursday, 17 July 2008

Don't Count Your Chickens 'till They're Hatched

..... or your caterpillars

You may remember I posted a series of moth egg photographs. Well one of those photographs was of eggs which I only recently found in the backyard and some have begun to hatch. This poor fellow seems to have died (not unusual) and so it maid a good subject for the microscope. It's not the best picture but keep in mind it is less than 1mm in length. I also ended up with a posterior view so not the most aesthetically pleasing.

The shape of the eggs and the appearance of the caterpillar suggest to me that it may be a Noctuid but this is just a wild guess. The Shape of the eggs is very similar to the Gum leaf skeletoniser - Uraba lugens but they are laid in a different pattern.

My little microscope is not set up for photography. This was taken by hand holding a camera at the eye piece.

Click on it to see a bigger version
This first instar larva is less than 1mm in length.

The eggs were only 0.5mm in diameter


  1. Goodness, they are microscopic! The eggs are a very interesting shape, I'm glad you posted this or I wouldn't have seen the same in my lifetime :)

  2. Stunning photo of the eggs Mosura, gotta get me a macro lens and camera to suit!

  3. What fascinating observations! I suppose it's just as well I haven't got a microscope, or I might never surface.

    Now that my garden is beginning to become established, I'll be looking for eggs and things when the weather warms up.

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting subject.


  4. Thanks anonymous - Fortunately moth eggs/caterpillars are not essential to a happy life :-) They do help though!

    Thanks Duncan - Before I bought the 400mm lens I was also looking at a getting another macro lens. The Canon MP-E 65mm looks good.

    Thanks Gaye - It will be interesting to see what wildlife settles in your garden.