Butterflies with damaged wings

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  • #58251


    Hi, in the last couple of days I have noticed lots of butterflies with damaged wings around our swan plant. I don’t think it’s the cat as I haven’t seen him chasing them. While gardening the other day I did notice a german wasp (at least I think that’s what it was) attacking a couple of the butterflies and killing them.

    Would the broken and missing pieces of wings be due to this?
    Do the wasps attack the chrysalis causing damaged for when the butterflies hatch?

    Any help appreciated. I don’t know how to post photos on here.


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  • Author
  • #58265


    They can do, Frances, but there are many reasons why there are deformed butterflies. The most likely is disease and this is very hard to control… Diseases (pathogens, viruses etc) are all here to keep the population under control – we can sanitise our breeding areas to eliminate many of the problems but if the butterflies are in the wild it is harder, of course.

    It could also be that these are old butterflies, and the wings are damaged more by age than disease or predator/parasite.

    If the percentage of damaged butterflies is low I would consider it normal… If you notice smelly pupae (chrysalises) or caterpillars that are dying, then it is something more sinister.



    Paper wasps? I think they suck on a chrysalis and cause damage.

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