Today I had a good chance to see what monarch butterfly egg laying looks like. Apparently it’s pretty inconspicuous. I saw the first monarch flying around the yard today and since we’ve had a bumper crop of milkweed it made a bee-line for the plants. What I observed was the butterfly scraping the back of its abdomen over the leaf. After just a few seconds it moved on to another plant and then another. Apparently it’s a very casual activity and there’s no long drawn out procedure. And I expected see many eggs but what I observed was just one or two on the leaves I observed. I’ll make further observations and I hope to see more of this activity to determine if what I observed is representative of this activity in the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.
As an aside today I observed a fairly large swallowtail caterpillar feeding in the garden on Queen Anne’s Lace. And the fact that we already have moved to the caterpillar stage with swallowtails matches up to the much earlier sighting of the swallowtail butterflies in the yard almost a month ago.