Hatching Hairstreak

Last Friday night I was able to observe a step in the butterfly metamorphosis that I haven’t witnessed before: A caterpillar hatching.

During the afternoon I saw that some of the eggs in the raising box started to show tiny holes. They appeared smaller than those of empty egg shells which I sighted quite commonly while searching for eggs last autumn. In the evening I took a closer look with a magnifying glass. I saw something shiny inside the egg, and it was moving. I quickly realized it was the black head of the tiny caterpillar. Only moments later the caterpillar started to leave the egg. Just enough time to get the camera.

Due to poor light conditions and my camera equipment shooting close-ups it always a challenge. Nevertheless, here’s some photos of the first moments of a young caterpillar. Minutes after hatching, the tiny larva disappeared in a close-by leaf bud. This is where it will spend a couple days.

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