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Egg of Papilio machaon

Egg of Papilio machaon
Photo Information
Copyright: Nikos Roditakis (NikosR) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 3 N: 447] (3436)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-06-21
Categories: Insects
Camera: Olympus mini E-PM1, 60mm Olympus Zuiko
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2015-06-22 11:09
Viewed: 906
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio machaon Linnaeus 1758
Lepidoptera: Papilionidae
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

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [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.

Super macro Nikos of this egg.

Thanks for sharing.


  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2015-06-24 12:13]

Hi Nikos,

Splendid view of the egg, great détails and sharpness.
This very difficult to see that, not obvious.
My best regards.

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