Monarch predator

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Liz Duhs has sent in these photographs,reporting the following observation at Panui Terrace Snells Beach Auckland today 13/03/09 around 2pm.
I think it is a brown Shield bug (?) sucking on a small Monarch caterpillar on a Swan plant in an area where there are citrus trees, and feijoa, and olive tree. Have not actually seen these bugs around before but have noticed that there are very few caterpillars reaching maturity on my 5 Swan plants this year.
Difficult to cover the plants as I am not at the property all the time to release butterflies. Is there a particular plant that attracts these insects ? Photographs attached.
Regards Liz Duhs

One Comment

  1. Posted March 22, 2009 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    The Brown Soldier Bug targets caterpillars rather than the plant itself, and feeds by piercing the caterpillars skin and sucking out the contents of the helpless caterpillar. It can fly.

    Norm.

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