every egg has a blue lining

We’re told that every cloud has a silver lining. Well, it turns out that every egg has a blue lining – at least those of the Spiny Stink Bug. As reported on June 21st, the weird but lovely silver eggs that I had first photographed on June 13th, began to hatch. First instar nymphs of Spiny Stink Bugs clustered around hatched eggs with lids seemingly flipped upward. But a few of the eggs seemed to show a mysterious blue colouring on top. In the discussion that followed, robin andrea and Leslie both expressed interest in the blue colour — so this is a follow up on my previous report.

I had hoped to continue photographing the original batch of eggs shown in the first and second posts. However, as luck would have it, we had torrential rains the evening after I noticed the nymphs with the eggs. Fearing the worst, I walked back to check on the eggs the next morning and sure enough, they were all gone — probably washed away by the rains. That’s the problem with insect watching, sometiimes things don’t work out as hoped. To illustrate this point, I highly recommend a visit to Niches to view photos of another case with an unexpected outcome.

So, it was back to the drawing board as far as discovering the reason for the blue colouring on the silver eggs. I managed to locate another cluster of silver eggs on a Common Milkweed plant in the meadow. After watching it daily for about a week, I was pleased to find that a number of the eggs had successfully hatched. I shot several photos yesterday and had a good look at them this afternoon. Lo and behold, there were a few eggs that showed the similar blue colouring. After examing the shots, I believe that the blue colouring is simply the interior of the empty egg! While most of the eggs seem to retain their lids, it looks to me as though some of the lids either get torn off, or flip vertically so that you can see the interior of the egg. The silvery blue seems to be the lining, or perhaps just what the egg looks like when seen from within — perhaps being so translucent that they appear blue. I’ve posted the best photo above. What do you think?

Tags: ,

  • Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Trackback URI:
  • Comments RSS 2.0

10 Responses to “every egg has a blue lining”

  1. Jimmy Says:

    I really have no idea on this….

  2. Wayne Says:

    I agree – it does look like the cap pops open to expose a blue interior. Very pretty!

  3. Mark Paris Says:

    It does appear to be the case.

    I can’t help mentioning what I immediately thought of when I first saw your photos of these eggs: the movie “Alien.” It reminded me of the pods the astronauts first found in the wrecked spaceship. If you saw the movie, you know what I mean. The eggs actually don’t look all that much alike, and the nymphs are certainly much less fearsome.

  4. burning silo Says:

    All – Well, I believe we have some consensus about the interior colour of the eggs. Mark, I haven’t seen “Alien” in years, but from what I can recall, it reminds me of those pods as well — I suppose it is the metallic, futuristic appearance as much as anything. If I were going to design “space eggs” these would be them. I’m sure that the artists that develop creatures for sci-fi movies must go through stacks of insect photos for inspiration.

  5. robin andrea Says:

    Great update on the Spiny Stink Bug eggs. It does look like they flip their lids and reveal their blue interiors. Very nice.

    If the artists who develop sci fi movies don’t through stack of insect photos, they should. What inspiration!

  6. Laura Says:

    Whatever – they are really beautiful!

  7. Leslie Says:

    Getting caught up, so my remark is late. I think you’re right, the interior is blue. The two that look blue in this shot do seem to have torn “covers”. Gosh, thanks for keeping an eye out and making this followup post.

  8. burning silo Says:

    Leslie – It’s been kind of fun watching for these. I’ve also been finding other eggs while looking for Spiny Stink Bug eggs. This is the first year that I’ve concentrated this much on insect eggs and I’m already learning a few new things. Hopefully, I can follow through with some of my observations sometime soon.

  9. lindaann Says:

    Hi, I also found a cluster of these little jewels on a lily leaf (next to milkweed plants). Was happy to identify them here, thank you! My theory is that the empty case is filled with drops of rain water and it is reflecting the surrounding colors.

  10. burning silo Says:

    lindaann – Glad to hear that the photos here on my blog helped you to identify the little stink bug eggs. You may well be right about the cause of the blue coloring inside of the eggs.