Slugs Eat newly born Monarchs' Wings

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  LeslieD 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #53861


    I watched 2 Monarchs eclose on plants about 1 1/2 feet off the ground. I then went to get a cup of tea – on my return small slugs were on them eating their Wings – and covering their bodies in slime.
    I was mortified – I did not know Slugs would harm Butterflies.
    The Monarchs wings were open and dry but they had not started to attempt to fly yet.
    I knocked off the slugs and dried the Butterflies with cotton buds. I put cornstarch on the worst goppey bits that I could not dry. When that dried I knocked the cornstarch qnd dried slime off with another dry cotton bud.
    One of the Monarchs flew away late this morning but the other was more severely damaged and is fluttering only at this point. I will reassess him tomorrow. He is resting on a pot plant upstairs and has had a good drink of nectar.
    I also saw a larger native slug have a chew at the feet of a resting Monarch – so I ran over and moved the Butterfly on – and put the slug in the church yard across the fence.
    So just a word of warning to others (to my surprise and dismay) that slugs may harm Butterflies.
    I did find it rather upsetting to see this. Every season I haved witnessed attacks on Monarchs by spiders (of any size), ants, earwigs, wasps, mantis, weta, sparrows, – and now I include smails and slugs. Sigh. I suppose slaters and centipedes are not friendly either… I’d better go say a prayer for the Monarchs.

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  • #53865


    Get well soon Fiona 🙂



    Sounds like a slug ate the whole lot of eggs doesnt it. Such a pity that the Butterflies are an endangered species and with so many predators and many challenges with the envirnoment, pesticides etc. The two newly born Monarchs were defenceless against the weight of the slugs. I will be more alert to slugs pesence now.
    I am happy to support the Butterflies and Moths as much as I can – they are the gentle fairy folk of the garden.

    I see that dragonflies – which I also love – also eat Butterflies. They might get downgraded off my Favourites List now – to Almost Favourite!

    As Im still not very well I wont be doing as much as usual. I’ll aim for 300-500 Monarchs this year instead of thousand/s as in other years. The garden is needing attention and Im praying for sun for the growth of plants that have survived winter.

    Best wishes to all for the season ahead.



    I have a personal thing on slugs on snails … that would be horrible. agreed there are so many predators out there … I bought some eggs in to the hothouse on some leaves and clipped the leaf to a plant in the hothouse … something ate the leaf the egg was on along with the egg … there was a small bit of slime, the living leaf was left intact .. whatever it was did it with all 6 eggs on leaf.. does not make sense to me .. good luck with the injured butterfly!

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