At the egg stage the Monarch is at one of its most vulnerable steps in its life, as the egg does not contain milkweed toxins yet. It is therefore an easy prey to ants and other insects or arthropods. The female lays one single egg per spot, usually under a leaf. It can lay several hundreds of eggs after mating a number of times. Here’s what the eggs look like when freshly laid:
The above photos were taken not long after the eggs were laid on June 17.
Eggs are ‘supposed’ to hatch after 3 to 8 days. However on day 8 only ONE egg hatched, and two more (from what I was able to see) on day 9. I can see a few eggs turning grey, where we can actually see the caterpillar black head through (see photos below). Many eggs are still white. We did have some rain and cool weather, so this has an impact.
All the eggs were laid singly, which increases chances of survival. Many of them were laid ON the leaf, not under. A tiny few were laid on stems. All the eggs I could spot (about two dozen) were laid on plants with flower buds, not younger plants.