The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont CA, has a resident colony of Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies. There are no other Pipevine Swallowtails for hundreds of miles.
This weekend, my photo partner and I visited RSABG, just to check on the status of the Dutchman's Pipevine hillside patch for Summer photo outings. We were not surprised to see the plants just starting to leaf-out, but we were surprised to see the amount of gravid female Pipevine Swallowtails, laying eggs. These adults are products of "over-winter" chrysalis, that are suppose to hatch in March & April, when the Pipevine plants are well established. Our concern is that the pending hatch of thousands of caterpillars will completely consume the Pipevine plants before the caterpillars are large enough to pupate.
Here are a few photos of Pipevine Swallowtail eggs, which are the size of a pin head.
All images Hand-held D5000 at ISO 400, with Nikkor 105G macro lens, 1/200-sec at f/(11 to 22), open shade and Nikon SB-600 Speedlight with O-Flash 3/4-circle Fresnel prism attachment.
Female Pipevine Swallowtail laying a clutch of eggs. Typical upside-down, up-&-over posture.
Egg clutch laid by above female Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly (cropped to 10x life-size)
Extreme crop (20x life-size) of different egg clutch
A not-yet-opened, immature bud of a Dutchman's Pipevine plant, which is named for the pipe-shape of the mature flower.
Great shots. That last egg photo looks like oranges slowly growing there skin.
Hello, great shots. May I ask what lens size you were using? Near the 105?
I envy you your early butterflies. I hope that they don't run out of food though because of it.
May I ask what lens size you were using ?
Thanks for the reminder. I posted info in original text.
Loc: Atlanta, Ga., Lancaster, Oh. and Stuart, Fl.
I really like that extreme closeup of the eggs! Nicely done. Eric in Atlanta
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