Acmon Blue laying eggs on buckwheat plant
This afternoon I was very fortunate to witness an Acmon Blue Plebejus or Icaricia acmon laying eggs on two of our native buckwheat plants.
I happened to be walking by the native patch after putting some cut branches in our compost bin, when I noticed little fluttering movements. It was an Acmon Blue butterfly. I hadn't seen any for several months so it was such a wonderful surprise to see it visiting several plants.
My camera was in the house, and I wasn't sure if the butterfly would still be in the garden if I went to get the camera.
Something told me that the butterfly wasn't going to leave for a while.
Sure enough, the Acmon Blue was still in the native patch when I returned with the camera.
And now it was visiting the buckwheat plants. I thought it was just resting on them.
When I later zoomed into the photos, what a surprise.
The butterfly was laying eggs on the buckwheat leaves and flower heads.
You can see in this rear shot of the Acmon Blue female, the curled abdomen pushing out the ovipositor.
The ovipositor touches the Seacliff buckwheat leaf surface as it deposits each egg and glues it to the leaf.
In the photo at the very top of this page, the butterfly is depositing eggs on Seacliff buckwheat flowers
Here the Acmon Blue is laying eggs on the leaf of an "Ella Nelson's Yellow" Eriogonum nudum.
Hatched larvae will then feed on both leaves and flowers.