This small white butterfly Pieris rapae took about twenty minutes to lay its cluster of eggs on the underside of some broccoli leaves in our garden. Each egg as laid with slow painstaking precision, at the rate of roughly one every twenty seconds. After laying each egg the butterfly withdrew its abdomen back between its wings, then bent it downwards and deposited another. Butterfly eggs have beautifully sculptured chitinous shells and as hatching nears they become more transparent, so that you can see the larva wriggling inside. After hatching, the caterpillar’s first act is to each its own egg.