Other Insects

There is such a huge variety of insects on the planet that it is inevitable that some of them prey on Butterflies and moths. In fact various species attack at different times during the butterflies life.

During the larval stage Ichneumon wasps (right) and some species of fly lay their eggs inside a living caterpillar, I hope to get a photo of this one day. The caterpillar continues to feed, feeding its parasitic guest. Pictured below is a Small tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae, caterpillar shortly after the emergence of a fly larva.

Ichneumon wasp.

 

A large white caterpillar about to be injected by a very small wasp.

Parasitised Small tortoiseshell.

 

Pictured below is a Large white, Pieris brassicae, larva. It has fallen from its foodplant, (having being attacked by one of the wasps I assume) and is subsequently being eaten by the wasps. After a few minutes eating the wasps left their prey, only to return to the exact spot a few minutes later to finish the job.
The adult butterfly is also prone to attack from insects. The Robber fly pictured here is a frequent taker of butterflies. Its prey this time is a Bath white.

 Fortunately not interested in humans.

Robber fly.

 

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All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.