We eat your butterflies

Now this is depressing: 13 Monarch Predators in the Butterfly Garden. This one I hadn’t anticipated:

If you raise monarch butterflies, make sure you don’t place monarch eggs too close together.

After a newborn caterpillar hatches, its first meal will be the nutrition-laced egg shell. If other eggs are in the vicinity, the hungry little caterpillar may wander over to an unhatched neighbor for seconds.

The same is true when placing newborn caterpillars with large ones. If they are competing for the same milkweed leaves, the large caterpillar could eat the competition for lunch … or dinner.

And you thought it was just a dog-eat-dog world.

(Via Van Dyke Parks.)

2 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    13 October 2018 · 7:47 am

    “Damn, Nature, you scary.”

    (Juvenile cannibalism is super common in species like that. Some fish do it too. I could go into the boring ecological reasons why you see this in species of this type….)

  2. McGehee »

    13 October 2018 · 1:57 pm

    “You will be assimilated. Your biological and gustatory distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile but delicious.”

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