Wasps attacking newly emerged butterflies

  • Creator
  • #42208


    Hello Everyone,
    Last week i went out to check on one of my chrysalis which was due to hatch soon … as nothing was happening i went inside and decided to check again in 5 minutes or so. When i went back out i could see the empty chrysalis shell but no butterfly? I thought it must have fell and looked down to see where it was ~ on the ground i found it trying to crawl back up the plant … and then i noticed that one of the wings was badly damaged and that the end of its abdomen was injured and liquid was seeping out … i lifted it gently into my hand and knew there was nothing i could do to help the poor thing ~ in the end i had to make the decision to end his suffering. It upset me greatly and i was so unsure what had happened …
    Sadly the next day i found out … i was standing at my kitchen window watching the butterflies flying around on my mature swan plants, and enjoying the nectar from the flowers, and watching again intently as i had another chrysalis ready to hatch … out came the butterfly and within a couple of seconds i noticed a large wasp arrive and literally grab onto the butterflies abdomen! I ran out the door and scared it away, but not before the damage had been done. The abdomen had a small tear and was leaking slightly … i brought the butterfly indoors and he hung from oneof my houseplants and the wings dropped and hardened successfully … he survived the ordeal and flew a few hours later.
    Since these attacks i have brought all remain chrysalis indoors …
    This story is upsetting and i have never witnessed anything like this in the years i have been raising monarchs … I wanted to bring it to everyones attention and to find out if others have this problem ?

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  • Author
  • #42233


    Hello Jacqui

    I am in Gisborne ~ i have been helping Monarch Butterflies for nearly ten years and i had never witnessed anything like this before in all that time. The attack was quick and if i had not been there to stop it, the butterfly would surely have died. I felt that other members should know about this threat.



    I think wasps attacking butterflies, were either Common wasps or German wasps. They often catch butterflies & moths & blowflies in midair.



    I had the same thing happen over the weekend. I have never seen wasps attack a butterfly; and the bugger had no excuse with plenty of fat cats right on the plant too!



    Edinlass, whereabouts are you? I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before.



    Large wasp = Common wasp ? German wasp ? Asian Paper wasp ?

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