Coming Out Party

Today’s post features a few images I captured late last week in my indoor photo studio. Knowing the Monarch migration would soon be underway, I set up some mesh, butterfly houses and a tripod with camera, all in my spare bedroom. When I began finding Monarch eggs last week, I collected what I could find and took them home to let them hatch in a non-predatory environment.

Last Thursday afternoon, the first egg hatched! I had everything in place and was able to capture the hatch sequence. I’m working on putting together a time-lapse video of the process, but it will take some time. Here are a select few of the images I captured of the hatch.

In this first photo, when the caterpillar is about ready to hatch (note the black head of the caterpillar, at the top of the egg):

Monarch butterfly egg on milkweed leaf

As hatching begins, the “cat” begins chewing a hole in the egg shell:

Monarch caterpillar chewing through egg shell

In this next image, the cat has his head outside the egg and he surveys his new environment, before exiting:

Monarch caterpillar chewing through egg shell

And then he begins exiting the egg casing:

Monarch caterpillar begins his exit from the egg

Almost out:

Monarch caterpillar begins his exit from the egg

Getting those last legs out!

Monarch caterpillar begins his exit from the egg

Once fully out, the Monarch cat eats his first meal … the empty, protein-rich egg casing:

Monarch caterpillar feasting on the egg casing

Quite a miraculous process! Since this was captured last week, I have also captured the second egg hatching, but not yet able to download the many images. I’m hoping even some better images! If so, they’ll likely show up here very soon!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 camera body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens + 68mm of Extension Tubes (36mm + 20mm + 12mm)
  • Bogen 3021 Tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/40 sec.
Posted in Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography
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