Question and Answer

What invertebrate predators do monarchs have?

Invertebrate predators such as ants, spiders, and wasps attack monarch larvae on milkweed plants. Wasps have been observed feeding on monarch abdomens at a California overwintering site, and fire ants have been suggested as a major predator of monarch larvae in Texas. Other research suggests that wasp predators may be sensitive to the chemical defenses of monarch larvae, and that wasps fed monarch larvae with high cardenolide concentrations had lower reproductive potential and more deformities in their nests than wasps that preyed upon less toxic caterpillars. Some invertebrate predators, such as ladybug larvae or lacewing larvae prey on monarch eggs.

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