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Egg cluster

Egg cluster
Camden County, New Jersey, USA
July 25, 2008
Size: Less than 2mm (cluster)
These eggs were found attached to the underside of a leaf.

Anyone know what they are?

Images of this individual: tag all
Egg cluster Egg cluster Egg cluster


Moved from Eggs.

I do not think it's safe to assume that this is the only species that makes egg clusters like this. See my comment below, from 5 years ago.

I defer to your expertise on this.

I have just corresponded with someone who is working on L. insularis, and I see how I misinterpreted what she wrote. She said that the twisted strands are highly unusual in the genus, and so I regarded that as sufficient for a diagnosis... but I see how that fails to eliminate the potential for similar egg clusters in other genera. I'll go ahead and move these back.

now, doesn't this defeat the theory that they lay them on stalks so that they don't eat each other? so, then is it really ants they're hiding from? awesome shot, by the way...

Yeah, it's all about ants, I think. The ones I hatched today were all hanging out together peacefully, and then they got too caught up in piling debris on their backs to think about eating each other.

Moved from eggs.



I ended up losing them all, as someone in my house threw the container away. :( I sincerely apologize to anyone who has been following this topic. I was as interested in finding out what they were as all of you.

Having said that, I can tell you that they were found on the underside of a leaf on a 'butterfly bush' with purple flowers about 4 feet off of the ground. The eggs slowly turned a very dark color, almost black before they hatched, and very small, dark colored flies emerged. I guess that, until I find another set of similar eggs, or we get an expert opinion, this will remain a mystery.

Again, sorry to disappoint! :(

Sounds like your eggs were parasitized by chalcidoid wasps, so they would have remained a mystery even if they hadn't been thrown out. That said, based on Dr. Oswald's comments, eggs like this that were four feet off the ground were most likely laid by a green lacewing (Chrysopidae).

Interesting, I never thought of them being parasitized! Thanks for your interest and research!

Some info from an expert...
I emailed Professor John D. Oswald at Texas A&M University about your photo, and here is his response:

There are a number of species of chrysopids (mostly documented in Europe, but the phenomenon is likely also to occur here in the U.S.) that are known to lay multiple eggs at the end of either a single stalk, or a number of closely parallel attached stalks. I don't know off hand which species this figure might refer to. One must also be careful in this though, some species of berothids (genus Lomamyia) also lay multiple eggs on the ends of single or closely parallel stalks. If the eggs were on a leaf well removed from the ground, chances are petty good that the source was a chrysopid; one would expect berothids tend to lay eggs down lower, often in association with rotting wood. but, from the figure only, I'm not sure that I'd want to put a family ID on this.

I'm also curious
I found a very similar egg cluster in Louisiana, and have had no luck ID'ing it. Mine had already hatched.

They hatched!
Well, I saved the egg cluster in a sealed container and they hatched this morning! The insects that emerged are a very small fly (or wasp or something), right now they are to small for me to get a good picture of (half a millimeter maybe?), but I'm going to try to keep them alive until they get a little bigger, then I'll post some pictures.

Please post an image of the hatchlings if you can, even if the quality isn't great--if you can get a photo like this of the eggs, I would think your camera would be able to get an identifiable image of the hatchlings. I suspect these are green lacewing eggs, but haven't heard of them putting multiple eggs on one stalk like this, so I'm very interested to see what hatched out.

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