Butterfly Predators

In every stage of their lives Lepidoptera fall victim to a host of predators, parasites, diseases, and destructive practices. They are a very important link in the food chain, and even beneficial insects like Green Lacewings and Ladybugs will feed on eggs and tiny larvae. Those losses are natural and part of the chain. But, it has been estimated that by far, humans have taken the greatest toll on Lepidoptera populations. Destruction of their habitat without replacing native species or substituting more cultivated varieties, and blanket use of pesticides are practices that could easily be changed without too much inconvenience.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Ladybug_larvae

Ladybug larvae feed on soft bodied insects and eggs.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Praying_mantis

Praying mantis may eat young caterpillars or small species adults

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_fly_larvae_emerging_from_Monarch_larva.

Parasitic fly larvae emerging from Monarch larva that died prior to their emergence.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_fly_larvae_pupate.

Parasitic fly larvae pupate soon after emerging from Monarch pupa. The Monarch pupa died even with only two parasites.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_fly_emerged_from_pupa.

Parasitic fly emerged from pupa — its host was a Monarch caterpillar

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_fly.

Parasitic fly

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_wasp_Ichneuman_spp._emerged_from_Black_Swallowtail_pupa

Parasitic wasp Ichneuman spp. emerged from Black Swallowtail pupa.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_wasp_lays_eggs.

Parasitic wasp lays eggs in Black Swallowtail pupa. Later, many wasps emerge from a tiny hole in the pupa.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Parasitic_fly_or_wasp.

Parasitic fly or wasp — larva emerges from Hackberry larva and pupates below

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Predatory_nymph_of_stink_bug.

Predatory nymph of stink bug feeding on Monarch larva.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Stink_bug_feeding_on_Monarch_larva.

Predatory nymph of stink bug feeding on Monarch larva.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Spined_Soldier_Beetle

Spined soldier beetle feeding on Monarch larva.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Cabbage_White

Wheel bug feeding on Cabbage White.

Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Spider_that_caught_this_Monarch.

After the spider that caught this Monarch had finished, a small bee took advantage of the opportunity to feed.
Lawn&Garden - Butterfly Predators>Tawny_Emperor_pupa.

Tawny Emperor pupa after spider (inside web in background) fed on it Green Lacewing larva feed on eggs and tiny larvae.

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