I can’t quite remember why I spent so much time counting cabbage looper butterfly eggs through a dissecting microscope in grad school.
I know it was a radionuclide project–maybe a thesis study by a fellow student. I think we were attempting to correlate pre- and post-ovipositing body load of maybe zinc-65 in an adult female of the species (an important pest crop of cole plants like broccoli and cabbage) with the number of eggs they laid in their containers.
I do remember noting that the eggs were not just little round pea-looking things. They had some kind of ornamentation and architecture that I could not quite make out with the 50x lens.
So seeing this variety of insect eggs at National Geographic evoked a long-overdue appreciation for just how wonderfully fashioned these almost-invisible eggs can be.