Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Baby orange-tip

In Killingan coppice today I started to look for orange-tip butterfly eggs on the stand of lady's smock (Cardamine pratensis). 

20100425 Cardamine pratensis Lady's smock Killingan coppice 046

It was almost too easy.  On the first plant I looked at there was a solitary characteristically shaped orange egg carefully placed beneath a flower stalk (see picture below near centre).  They are usually put on their own like as though the mother knows that her caterpillars will have strong cannibalistic tendencies .

 20100504 Orange-tip egg Killingan coppice 007

With a good deal of luck this will have turned into a butterfly by next May.  Below is a female of the species.

20080519 Brede High Woods 10a Rafters Wood orange-tip female 063

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