Insect Eggs

round glassy eggs on barktextured eggsgumnut shaped eggsbrown football shaped eggs

Egg size, shape and texture is unique to each species of insect, although the differences may not always be obvious to the naked eye. Common egg shapes include that of a sphere, cylinder, cone or oval.

Most eggs are covered by a protective shell of protein secreted by the accessory glands in the female reproductive system prior to oviposition. This shell is often textured with grooves or ridges which may only be visible under an electron microscope.

Small microscopic perforations, called aeropyles, in the shell allow for the entry and exit of gases without the loss of too much water. The mycropyle, a small opening located near the anterior end of the shell, allows the entry of sperm into the egg during fertilisation.

Photos courtesy of the Australian Museum