28 June 2009

Eggs on Queen Anne's Lace

While I was out enjoying my walk this morning, my wife was slaving away in our garden. She weeded out some Queen Anne's lace, a plant of the carrot family which has an attractive umbel of blossoms, but which is weedy and invasive in gardens. Knowing that it is a host plant (food plant) for black swallowtails, she checked the underside of the leaves, and sure enough, there was a cluster of eggs. I've been growing bronze fennel for the sole purpose of attracting BSTs, but they seem not to have found the fennel yet.

The bottom photo shows a magnified view of the cluster of eggs; they have a shape kind of like the old-fashioned candy root beer barrels. We now have them safely stored in the house where predators won't bother them, and we'll be glad to feed the caterpillars all the Queen Anne's lace they can eat. Last year I blogged the life cycle of black swallowtails, but I'll probably do so again this year, since they are such magnificent creatures.

Addendum:  These turned out NOT to be Black Swallowtail eggs.  For the answer, see this post.


  1. Did Black Swallowtail larvae end up hatching from these? My sister found eggs very similar in shape to these, only they are dark grey/black. They are becoming hazy, so I'm guessing they are soon to hatch. ;]
    Here are the eggs : http://i46.tinypic.com/33namgw.jpg . Are the Black Swallowtail eggs? If not, what are they?

  2. Britta, if I remember correctly, these did NOT turn out to be BSTs; I think they were Spilosoma virginica ("Yellow Bears"). I'll have to look back through my notes/pix and leave a followup note after the holidays.

    Your eggs don't look at all like Black Swallowtail ones. Here are some definite BST eggs -


    I would guess yours are probably from a moth of some kind.


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