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Hatching Larva

The eggs hatched!  We were able to watch as a larva emerged from it's egg.

We hooked up the digital microscope and were able to watch each step in the process as a painted lady butterfly larva emerged from its egg.

The first video clip shows the larva moving inside its egg and trying to break free.

Unfortunately the focus isn't very good in some of the photos.  Most of the photos are taken at 200x magnification.  The microscope does focus on flat objects at 200x magnification, but the eggs are 3 dimensional.   If you look at the first photo, the top edge of the egg is in focus, but as you look down the egg, it gets more blurry.  So only one height will be in sharp focus in any picture.  

Still, it was amazing watching the larva emerge.


painted lady butterfly egg at 200x magnification painted lady butterfly egg on the day it will hatch
The eggs changed color.  They had been a creamy, opaque color when they were first laid.  On the fourth day, they were much darker and there was a brown spot at the top.


painted lady butterfly larva starting to break its egg painted lady butterfly larva almost poking out its head
The dark spot on the side of the egg, is where the larva is starting to eat or break its way out of the egg shell.


painted lady butterfly larva emerging from its egg shell painted lady butterfly larva almost out of its egg
At this point, we switched to 60x magnification.  The larva has broken out of its egg and is starting to crawl out.
painted lady butterfly larva painted lady butterfly larva on a leaf with empty egg shell
Here's a picture of the larva, after it was out of the shell.  The second picture was taken with a camera.  It shows the larva (about 2 mm long).  The clear white dot on the leaf, is the empty egg shell.


Here's a 2 minute video of the larva climbing out it's shell.


Read more about raising Painted Lady Butterflies.


Here's an Amazon link to the type of microscope we used to take the photos.


Comments (1)

really an interesting thing for kids to see. there are some zoological facts that we should know and makes the learning more intersting.


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