CLOSED: Impressive "sheet" of insect eggs on tropical plant leaf

Medford, NJ

eek! This whole forum makes me itchy!

This is a small leaf on a hoya staying outdoors for the summer - I am in southern NJ - can anyone tell me what type of insect laid these eggs? I am guessing some sort of moth. Should I remove and destroy them or leave them alone?

Thumbnail by Bhavana34
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I don't know but that is impressive

Medford, NJ

yeah, you should see it in person. Kinda creepy. Last time I saw eggs like this it was on a branch and they were light green....I happend to look at them one day as they were hatching and there were little tiny green worms. That is why I am thinking moth or something like that.

I can't believe my camera captured such detail, I take millions of pictures of closeups of flowers, and they all come out fuzzy. I take one single picture of something kind of gross and it comes out in wonderful detail. Story of my life.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

ha ha- I know, I haven't figured the camera out either really! sometimes get lots of fuzzy shots (erase- erase-) then the occasional crystal clear closeup. Those I post!

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Can you spare that leaf? I would put it in a jar and watch to see what hatches. You're probably right, and to let them hatch would be quite destructive to the Hoya. But I think you're as curious as I am!

Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

I found similar eggs but these are grey. I've no idea what they are but I'm watching them. This is on a Celastrus leaf.

Thumbnail by mgarr
Medford, NJ

I tried searching online for info, can't seem to find anything except a few similar pics of eggs laid on leaves, no definate id, perhaps butterfly or moth eggs....

My eggs, white in the picture, are tan colored today. I hate to take the leaf off of the plant, but I don't want whatever it is to use my plant as a source of food when they hatch....

Delanson, NY

I found the exact same looking eggs on one of my apple trees leaves. I pulled it off and threw it. If I see them again I'll take a pic and post in response.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I'm following your thread, just so I can learn what those eggs really are. :-)

Medford, NJ

I got rid of them, but would still like to know what they were....was going to remove the leaf and put it in a jar and let them hatch to see what they grow up to be, but I figured they'd just hatch into larvae and considering all the stages larvae go thru before becoming what they are, it would take too long! And then I would be worrying about them getting enough food and water etc....who needs it? I have my own pets, and no interest in being responsible for baby bugs.....God forbid I get attached and wind up wanting to keep them all.....

Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

I have the option to just keep watching because they are out in the forest. I've watched the eggs hatch. The larva seem to increase in size very fast especially if they are caterpillars or moths. It's harder to find the chrysalis, sometimes they are very strange. This is where I lose them if I haven't ID them. But there sure were many new moths and butterflies for me this year. Look babies not from the eggs on the leaf I posted here.

Thumbnail by mgarr
Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

Here they are three weeks later. A Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar.

Thumbnail by mgarr
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Geez! Look at that 'fur coat' on this fancy fellow! Poor fellow has to wear that heavy winter coat during the summer day. lol.

Love the pics. mgarr, thank you, for sharing.

Medford, NJ

Well, I find that very interesting, because I found my eggs on a hoya leaf and hoyas are in the milkweed family. The thing is, hoya leaves are thick and hard, not soft and flexible...the larvae would have quite a time chewing on one, if they could manage at all!

Mgarr, you are not too far from me either, we probably are considered to be in the same area geographically, I am less than 20miles east off Philadelphia...thanks for the pictures, great shots...keep your eye on those other ones, I am dying to see what they are!

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

mgarr, I hope you posted those to bug files. It is important to have the different stages of the caterpillar's life doucmented. There are so few books that even address this.... Hence, no place to go to when we are trying to ID those little guys. And you have some great photos!

Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

I went back this morning and the little dears were starting to "hatch". Bugs creep me out! But I'm finding them so interesting. The picture isn't so clear. They are very small. This is not a millkweed leaf. It is a bittersweet leaf.

Thumbnail by mgarr
Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

This one may be a little better. I'll keep you posted.

Thumbnail by mgarr
Medford, NJ

Yes, I would especially like to know if they are eating the leaf or the plant....

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Since they are caterpillars, they will definitely be eating the leaves....they usually eat their egg case first....

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

mgarr- this could be an excellent chance to document whatever they turn out to be. Super having the egg-sheet pic to start with!! Someone may be able to ID the cats at some point as they grow.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thsi is better than "As the World Turns!" How about, "As the Bugs Hatch?"

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

LOL, with you Gymgirl;

I've found a strand of singly layed eggs on my brug's leave this morning. I'm thinking, hummm,....well don't know what to think since I don't like to see anything at all on my brugs other than its fabulous blooms. If I were to try to collect them, will they likely require the same food when they hatch? (My brug's leaves?). How do I keep them? In a jar? ceejaytown, help please.

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

They'll likely require the same food. You could try something else in the Solanaceae family - to see if they'd switch, but I wouldn't count on it. Can you get a photo of the eggs on your brug? In a jar would be my recommendation. Would hate to see something destructive spread out over the leaves of your brug.

We have to remember that there are bad guys out there that will eat your plant alive, and the best time to get them is when they are in the egg stage. Butterflies tend to lay eggs singly, while moths and sawflies often lay rafts of eggs. Chances are that we are watching one of those two. But since they're not on one of our beloved plants, we don't need to step in, and those photos are going to be such a wonderful addition to the data base...something we may not be able to find anywhere else.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

They're eating bittersweet? There is so much oriental bittersweet around here, we need those guys bad

Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

I haven't downloarded my pictures but the new babies are all gone. We finally had rain and there isn't a one in sight. There are more eggs so I took the leaf and put inside my caterpillar display. I can't wait to see if any more hatched today. Oh! I did look for awhile to see if I could fine any babies on the ground. They were so tiny, I had no luck.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I'll see if I can get a pic. of the strand of eggs as I get more daylight. Will be looking for jar to keep these.

Medford, NJ

I am thinking that the original picture I posted was of moth eggs, I have a whole group of plants, including the hoya with the eggs on it, in an area right around my porch light, which is a very popular hangout spot for the moths, especially at night. Not sure what a sawfly is, and not sure I want to know, since flies in general kind of disgust me.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Here is the pic. of the strands of eggs on my brug's leave this morning.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Are they about to hatch? I can see that they've eaten their way out of the egg's sheath and the leave as seen here....

Thumbnail by Lily_love
The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Oh, the picture is too blurry. Can you try again and focus on the eggs?

mgarr - You might keep checking back. They have probably moved onto new leaves by now.

bhavana - You are probably right.

This message was edited Aug 31, 2007 10:45 AM

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Is this any clearer?

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Bahumbug! I've got to try again in a little while! there are segment- like on the stringy thingy. The shorter strand has roughly a dozen of those egg-like segments. As the color is tan as seen here.

Correction; the short strand contains 5 connective eggs in that partern. The longer strand as seen here has exactly 12 eggs.

This message was edited Aug 31, 2007 11:29 AM

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Sorry this is the best, my Kodak Easy Share can give me.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

I don't think they are moth eggs. Very possibly eggs of an insect in the true bug family. But I'm not an expert and it is really hard to ID some of this stuff. Can we wait for the hatch?

Just a suggestion, but maybe if you backed up a bit for the photo and aimed directly at the eggs? We could then magnify it a little...Still probably wouldn't be able to ID it until hatch, but it would be great for documentation in BugFiles...

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I need a Canon 35mm, lol. I'll try it again later. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll keep you posted.

Hanover Twp., PA(Zone 6a)

Here is the leaf I rescued from the vine. Nothing is happening to the eggs left. But they can't get away if any hatch now. No rain, no wind.

Thumbnail by mgarr
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

How the heck do insects find the right plant anyway? Isn't that amazing?

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

ceejaytown; once again, you did diagnose the correct eggs. I found the nymphs on these eggs today. They're milkweed-bug's nymphs! Found another trand just like it on my milkweed's seedpod, and the little, bitsy, tiny nymphs are gathering for a feast! Be back with its pic. in a little while.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Tsk,tsk! It was on the underside of the leave of the milkweed. Not the pod! Anyhooo, once again, I wasn't able to get a good pic. But! Now that I know what they're. They're not going to ride on my brug's leave! Hmmm, are these two plants in the same family? Or these guys are just nondiscriminating horder of any foodsource?

Thumbnail by Lily_love
The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

LOL! Nondiscriminating. Brugs are in the Solanaceae family; Milkweed - well, it's in the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae)....

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