Ladybirds & their larvae

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  • #56158


    This is the poorest year I have had for Monarchs. The butterflies are plentiful in my garden & some have laid eggs, but these rapidly disappear, & there are no caterpillars to be seen. I have heaps of swan plant, some of it quite heavily infested with yellow aphids. There are also heaps of ladybirds & their larvae on them, doing a good job on the aphids but I really suspect they are doing a good job on the Monarch eggs too. Probably can’t distinguish between aphids & eggs.
    Am I right in thinking that they might be the culprits? There are very few wasps around.

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  • #56168


    Yes, am doing this, & growing them on, but I really have to look for the eggs!



    If you have the time and energy, you could remove the eggs from the leaves (or the leaves with eggs from the plant) and raise them in a takeaway food container indoors. You put the leaf on an ever so slightly damp tissue (non-scented of course) in a container and watch for the tiny caterpillars to emerge.

    When they’re bigger, you can return them to the plant if you wish.



    Have you checked for spiders? I have great plants at the top of my garden and all the eggs go from there too. They are in a fairly densely planted part of the garden and I’ve discovered a lot of spiders living on them especially in the flower heads. I can put bigger caterpillars on the plants but I’m not finding the eggs and not seeing hatchlings. The butterflies are there all the time. My other plants are not surrounded by other vegetation and the eggs survive just fine. Not sure about ladybirds sorry but it wouldn’t surprise me, I think lots of critters find caterpillar eggs a good easy feed.

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