Translucent Orange Tip

The chrysalis of many butterfly species become translucent before the adult hatches. In case of male Orange Tip butterflies (Anthocharis cardamines) the sight is particularly beautiful.

This specimen was raised from egg to adult butterfly. The second shot presents a freshly hatched female Orange Tip, drying its wings before taking off for its first flight.

How to find eggs of the Black Hairstreak

Finding eggs of the Black Hairstreak (Satyrium pruni) is a bit more challenging compared to other hairstreaks that overwinter as egg. As the color changes during  winter the eggs also get better disguised.

Every species requires its own strategy for tracking down ova. In case of the Black Hairstreak, there are two tips I can provide: First, confirm the location is right. As with every species, searching at the right location is essential. Second, attention to detail. It may require a bit more experience searching for eggs to get results with Black Hairstreaks as eggs really are well hidden in disguise. Personally, I was inspecting the very same growth multiple times before I found eggs on a spot I thought I already checked before.

I got lucky when it comes to location. Just a week ago I met another lepidopterist on a different site. After catching up and having a really interesting talk he revealed me a spot where he knew Black Hairstreaks have a good population. And this tip made my day.

Knowing the right location I was also able to start the search. I knew in advance that this species requires more attention, a better look and serious focus to find eggs. I realized how challenging it was to find eggs after finding the first two (see photo below with three eggs, one of them an empty shell). But I also got an important hint on what to look for. A week later, I found a couple more.

Check the photos below for a view on the habitat. Usually, eggs were laid on the shadow side of growth with a height of 1-2.5 meters. They were found in a height 20cm above ground up to the height of my eyes, about 1.5-2 meters above ground.

The Butterfly Playbook is set up

During the last couple of weeks I dedicated my time to setting up an entirely new project, The Butterfly Playbook. This project is about watching and raising some of the most incredible and amazing creatures, our butterflies and moths.

The Butterfly Playbook will be gathering experience on finding and raising caterpillars, spotting and attracting butterflies and particularly, making all that experience available to you.

You’re thinking what in the world? Well, butterflies are my interest. And I call it the most beautiful hobby in the world.

Due to my location, southern Finland, spring is still a couple months away. Before the first butterflies awake there is time for preparations and planning. And furthermore, it’s a good moment for a review on the previous season.

I’ll be taking my family on a fascinating journey. And you’re very welcome to join. Read more about the playbook, or browse through the content posted so far.

Happy butterflying

– The author

Did you know…

Every post in The Butterfly Playbook highlights a fact or a tip about butterflies and moths. Read some posts and learn simple facts or catch a tip. You’ll find those in a yellow box like this.

Source: The Butterfly Playbook