Admiral eggs being eaten!

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  • #14609


    Does anyone know what parasite eats the eggs of Yellow Admirals?

    Five days ago a Yellow Admiral butterfly laid eggs on my nettles, and I took some inside, but left others outside.

    Looking at them now I see some of the eggs are empty but have a little hole pierced through the shell, and a little bit of dried spittle next to it. (I saw this using the microscope at 40x magnification) Other eggs on the same leaf have been untouched.

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  • #26983


    Ants will take eggs, luckily I found and destroyed a close-by ant nest (liberal dose of flyspray) sprayed downwind of course.



    Thanks Norm. I did wonder that at first but these eggs were ones that I watched being laid while the butterfly was laying them … and I marked each leaf with a black dot, so I could easily find them as she was laying them(these were small plants in pots that I was growing from cuttings) Its great seeing the caterpillars develop in the other eggs now though!



    Hi Anna,
    There is another possibility – that the eggs concerned had been there prior to the ones you saw being laid, and the holes in the top of the egg are the exit holes the caterpillar had chewed. Check the plant to see if there are any signs of tiny caterpillars under a fine silk webbing on the new growing tips of the plant.
    Just another thought.



    I’m having trouble finding a red spider mite….
    So haven’t managed to see if its them yet!
    (Blutterfly)…I wouldn’t be with out the stereo- microscope…I have had so much entertainment with it. I have it set up so on the spur of the moment I can have a look at anything that may be intriguing!



    I don’t think you will have to wait too long Anna.It is not uncommon for me to see one tucking in to an egg!



    I can jast imagine that………LOL….good luck Anna! Hey just as well you have a microscope Ahy!



    Thanks Bernie. Yes we do get the red spiders here, and because they are fairly tiny, they may be the culpret. I’ll try and catch one and see if he has a go at an egg while I watch….(then stop him in his tracks)



    Hi Anna
    It’s a long way away from here in GB to NZ but do you have red spider mite in NZ?
    If you were in England I would say that was the main suspect but if not ,it is something similar.
    The only way to guarantee safety for all your eggs is to protect them but I appreciate that can be difficult.It’s a cruel world out there!

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