09 January 2011

A One Millimeter Egg That Defies Gravity

This fall I started noticing little tiny green dots, attached by a minuscule thread, seemingly defying gravity. These dots were everywhere - on numerous plant species, generally attached to fairly sturdy portions of the plant.

After a bit of research, it turns out these are Green Lacewing (Chrysopa sp.) eggs.

There are many species of lacewings, and most lay eggs like this - attached to tiny threads, suspended upright. Some lay eggs in bundles, and some lay singular eggs in many places.

Green Lacewing Egg
Now, the above picture doesn't do justice to the size of this egg, so I decided to hold a ruler behind it so you could see that this egg really is just a millimeter.  To get such great magnification on the above photo, I used a 100mm macro lens and two extension tubes stacked (for better close focus).  Of course, my EM-140 ring flash provided the lighting.

Green Lacewing Egg with Ruler
Even then, the perspective isn't fully understood.  So I decided to take one more photo from about three feet away using the 100 mm lens (see below).  That is still quite close, but it begins to give you the perspective a bit better.

Next week I'll try to fiand an adult for my Macro subject.  They are very elegant, delicate bugs, and quite a beneficial bug to inhabit your garden.

Green Lacewing Egg with Ruler
Backed Out For Perspective