After 33 years of researching insect embryos, you'd think that I'd have had my fill of them. And yes, I thought I had. That is, until I discovered the lacewing embryo.
I touched on these in a recent blog, where I looked at the larvae of these insects hatching from the egg. My photos of the embryos on that occasion weren't very clear because of the chorion, a milky white membrane that surrounds the egg.
A few days ago I discovered another clutch of lacewing eggs, laid on the fly screen of our dining room window. This time I was able to get better photos of the embryos inside - either by clearing the chorion with a dilute bleach solution (an old trick I used to use with Drosophila embryos), or by removing it with fine forceps (gratified to discover I can still do this).
Anyway, here are my mugshots of lacewing embryos taken over a five day period.
Day 1 (probably a couple of days after fertilisation)
Life after the egg
This clutch of eggs will probably hatch tonight and I want to get this blog posted now. So here is a shot from my earlier blog of the larva immediately after it has broken free of its embryonic home. Ahh, room to move!