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Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

Posted by weed30 6 St Louis (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 2, 12 at 19:53

It's been a bad year for butterflies - last year I raised over 60 black swallowtails. This year I have had less than a dozen. Yesterday I found a dozen or so new eggs on my rue, very happy about that. However I found at least a dozen or more "empty" eggs...perfectly shaped but clear with nothing inside. I read here before that the butterflies don't know they aren't viable, just laying anyway.

This year I have gotten a number of black eggs too. At first I thought they were previously overlooked, and ready to hatch. But nothing ever happened. Then I realized they were way too black...swallowtail eggs don't get that dark before hatching. Anyone have the same thing or know what's going on?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

I don't know why some eggs are black, but I've seen it here and there often through the years, especially with giant swallowtail eggs. I get more clear, empty eggs from the giants, too. Neither the black ones or clear ones hatch and make a caterpillar, though.
'Sorry! :(

Sherry


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

Drat it! I hope you get some viable ones, too!

Susan


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

wow! Record numbers of black swallowtail here in Virginia. Was checking in to find info on eggs not hatching. Thought they might have been infertile, and seems that is one possible cause. Still have many that are hatching though. Ample monarchs, painted ladies, sleepy orange's, and some zebra's. GREAT butterfly year here.


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

and these fun guys too! Harris's 3-spot - Harrisimemna trisignata


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

burrowing. master carpenter.


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

One year later.....

My BSTs were late arriving this year, but I've had a good amount of them, so I'm happy. However I'm also getting those empty eggs again. I have never seen so many - a couple dozen this year. It's sad, and I wonder if the mosquito spray our county insists on spraying is making some butterflies infertile. Just pondering.


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

Do you find the empty eggs immediately after laying? I have found a few clear looking eggs from time to time, and thought it was because a predator insect might have sucked the inside of the eggs out. Not sure??

Thank goodness our town doesn't spray for mosquitoes any more, it is a horrible practice IMO. Although they have found mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus in our area this year, I still think blanket spraying poison all over the environment is ridiculous.


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

Come to think of it, I found a few clear eggs like that too, along c a lot of viable ones.


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RE: Many empty eggs, and what about the black ones?

Earlier this year, I had a black BST egg that I looked at everyday under a microscope. I could tell changes were taking place inside the egg. A little hole eventually showed up in the shell so something ate its way out. The egg was still black. Wish I had had it in a test tube so I might have been able to observe what emerged.

I recently found two more but did not bother to keep track of them.


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