Published: September 2010

The Beauty of Insect Eggs

Insect Eggs Passilflora

Insect Eggs

Engineered for survival, insect eggs hang on and hatch wherever their parents deposit them.

By Rob Dunn
Photograph by Martin Oeggerli

We fool ourselves most days. We imagine the Earth to be ours, but it belongs to them. We have barely begun to count their kinds. New forms turn up in Manhattan, in backyards, nearly anytime we flip a log. No two seem the same. They would be like extraterrestrials among us, except that from any distance we are the ones who are unusual, alien to their more common ways of life.

As the vertebrate monsters have waxed and waned, the insects have gone on mating and hatching and, as they do, populating every swamp, tree, and patch of soil. We talk about the age of dinosaurs or the age of mammals, but since the first animal climbed onto land, every age has been, by any reasonable measure, the age of insects too. The Earth is salted with their kind.

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