Butterfly Eggs

Do Butterflies lay Eggs

Butterflies, being oviparous insects, lay eggs either one at a time or in clusters. After the adult female butterfly mates with a male, it stores the sperm in a sac and may go a long distance in search of a plant on which it can lay its eggs. Butterflies typically lay about 100-300 eggs, but some species can lay more than a thousand eggs.

Do Butterflies Lay Eggs

What do Butterfly Eggs look like

The eggs of a butterfly can vary in size depending on the species, having a diameter between 1 and 3 mm. They are typically round, oval, or pod-shaped, with a smooth texture and green, white, yellow, or any other color. The black swallowtail butterfly, for example, lays pale-green, smooth, globe-shaped eggs while the zebra longwing butterfly produces eggs similar to tiny corncobs. The eggs are characterized by a tough shell that has raised ribs and the small funnel-shaped opening, known as micropile, which allows the passage of air and water.

When and Where do Butterflies lay Their Eggs

Butterflies usually lay eggs in spring and summer, but it can vary depending on the species. The eggs are laid in a safe and secure location, generally on the underside of a leaf or at someplace near the host plant. Aside from the leaves, a butterfly may lay eggs in the crevices of tree bark or flower heads. It secretes a glue-like chemical for attaching the eggs to the leaf.

How long do Butterfly Eggs take to Develop

Each egg consists of a yolk that provides nourishment to the developing larva. An egg may take 3-8 days to hatch but may vary depending on the environmental conditions. A change in color is observed before the eggs hatch.

Interesting Facts

  • Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed plant leaves.
  • Ghost moths lay their eggs while flying because their larvae usually eat grass.
  • A female butterfly dies after it has laid all of the eggs.