Egg of Papilio machaon
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|Papilio machaon Linnaeus 1758|
Common name: Swallowtail
Papilio machaon is widespread and common in Crete as in many countries of the world.
It lays eggs on tall plants. This is an egg less than 0,5mm in diam. laid on a fennel shoot. The young caterpillar is black, marked with a band of white I have posted it last week. It looks remarkably like a small bird-dropping as it rests openly on the leaves. This camouflage is not effective against spiders, which may predate up to 65% of 1st instar larvae. When fully grown in July, the caterpillar is a most magnificent creature - bright green, marked with narrow black bands and orange spots. I have posted an image last week. Behind it's head is an eversible fleshy pink forked structure called an osmaterium, which is raised if the larva is irritated. This structure emits pungent chemicals, capable of deterring ants, wasps, and flies, but does not deter birds - reed buntings, sedge warblers and bearded tits between them devouring at least 50% of mature larvae.
The chrysalis occurs in 2 colour forms, being either plain green, or light brown with a dark lateral stripe. It is attached vertically by a thin silken girdle and by the cremaster, usually low down on the stem of a reed, where it hibernates until the following May.
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Ciao Nikos, great macro of beautiful egg, fantastic details, spledid sharpness and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
- [2015-06-22 15:33]
Hi Nikos,very interesting post,it's the first time that i can see a Machaon egg.It's a pity that the DOF is good only on the herb and not on the egg but no problem,i like the curious theme.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
Good documentation of the first step in the life cycle of a Swallowtail butterfly, Nikos.
The composition in diagonal orientation looks wonderful.
- [2015-06-24 12:13]
Splendid view of the egg, great détails and sharpness.
This very difficult to see that, not obvious.
My best regards.