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Fragments from Floyd

Fabergé, Eat Your Heart Out

Small is beautiful ~ Zebra longwing Butterfly Egg

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.

Do give the slide series a look by by Martin Oeggleri a look.

4 thoughts on “Fabergé, Eat Your Heart Out”

  1. Wow! Each of the eggs with their micropyle visible were just amazing. What complex detail on a one celled thing. That much detail on a multicellur organism would be awe inspiring.

  2. Hmmm. I wonder if the egg exterior is cellular at all. Maybe it’s just a chitinous shell–like a calcium carbonate hen’s egg. The ovum inside is a single cell–waiting for the sperm to find the clearly marked micropyle. Why so clearly delineated, like a runway or bulls-eye? Do insect sperm “see” or sense their way along?

  3. I wouldn’t think the exterior of the single-celled egg would be multicellular. But how did nature make that awesome pattern???

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