This Painted lady is only the fourth individual I’ve seen this year but she was by far the best, not because of her appearance, which is a little ragged around the edges, but because she was laying eggs … and I’d never seen a Painted lady egg before.
At just 0.65mm high, the egg is tiny and, in my reference book, it’s described as green but, to my eye, this one is more of a pale turquoise – the plant stem is green. And the plant is a thistle – Creeping thistle, I think, though it was a young plant with no flowers, which makes it harder for me to identify but probably more nourishing for the teeny tiny caterpillar to munch on when it emerges. Now if I can only find this exact plant again in approximately a week’s time …
And following hot on the heels of finding that Painted lady egg, today I spotted a female Common blue butterfly laying her eggs in a sheltered clearing. You can perhaps see in the photo how she is angling her body to deposit an egg underneath the foliage.
So, once again, I was able to find the newly laid egg and take some photos. According to my book, these eggs are usually 0.5mm in diameter and just 0.25mm high, so really tiny. I have no chance of finding this egg again but I’m really glad I had the chance to see it.