Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Eggs-travaganza …

Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus)

The search continues ...

A recent visit to a coastal site in Sussex, in search of adult L. boeticus, produced a single, brief, though welcome glimpse of a migrant male, on the last day of good weather.

Not to be beaten, Dan Danahar and I revisited the site the following day, Saturday, 12th September, in order to undertake a detailed and systematic search for L. boeticus ova. It was cold, windy and very overcast, with the threat of rain ever pending - ideal conditions for egg hunting as we would not be distracted from potential adult insects on the wing. Searching all the Lathyrus we could find and access, we ended up with an impressive grand total of 82 eggs. This included both freshly laid ova, as pictured above, and ova showing signs of larval emergence. One can only hazard a guess as to how many eggs had originally been laid and how many had been grazed away by the numerous snails that were present.

L. boeticus will lay its eggs both singly and in multiples on their selected foodplant. I have personally found as many as 5 ova on a single raceme, though have received reports from good authority of up to 9. Eggs can be found laid on the sepals (their apparent preference) and also on the petals and flowering stems of each inflorescence.

It's only a matter of time before freshly emerged Sussex born individuals take their first flight ...

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