Country Corner

Orange tip butterfly eggs can usually be found on the garlic mustard plant
Orange tip butterfly eggs can usually be found on the garlic mustard plant

Searching for butterfly eggs is one of the trickiest things.

A bit of knowledge of the species you are after is always useful.

For instance most butterflies have strict preferences as to which plants they lay their eggs on.

In the case of the Orange Tip butterfly, that plant is usually Garlic Mustard, at least it is locally.

Orange Tip eggs are in fact one of the easiest butterfly eggs to find, as the eggs are every bit as orange as the wing tips which give the insect its name.

To be more precise the eggs turn orange after a day or two, being cream coloured when first laid.

Mind you there is usually only one egg per plant, so not all that easy to find.

The reason for spacing the eggs so widely may surprise you.

Orange Tip caterpillars are cannibals!

I suppose the easiest butterfly eggs to find belong to the ‘cabbage whites’, namely the Large White and Small White.

Any organic vegetable garden will normally have a few on cabbage leafs.

Then before you know it, the time comes round for looking for caterpillars.

Another example of strange behaviour! George Hogg, Hogg Estate Services, Wildlife Management