Butterfly Predation

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Butterfly Pages
Butterflies have many natural predators including frogs and lizards, birds, and many species of carnivorous insects and spiders. Hence, they are an important component of the natural food web. Vertebrate predators usually quickly consume their prey, while insects and spiders take a much longer time, thus enabling people to observe butterfly predation in action. Below are some examples of butterflies as victims in the food web.
mantis eating an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Mantis eats an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Hyde Co., NC
16 Sep 2006
Green Lynx eats an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Craven Co., NC
30 Aug 2009
mantis eating an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Mantis eats a Palamedes Swallowtail
Hyde Co., NC
16 Sep 2006
mantis eating an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Different Mantis eats a different Palamedes Swallowtail
Hyde Co., NC
16 Sep 2006
Palamedes Swallowtail & crab spider
New Hanover Co., NC
28 August 2004
Cloudless Sulphur & Green Lynx Spider
Brunswick Co., NC
4 September 2004
Mariposa Copper (Lycaena mariposa) Mariposa Copper (Lycaena mariposa)
Near Condon, north of Seeley Lake, Missoula Co., MT
11 July 2014

In the clutches of a crab spider

Crab Spider eating a Pearl Crescent Crab Spider eating a Pearl Crescent
Blackwood Division of Duke Forest
Orange Co., NC
16 July 2003
Robberfly eating a Pearl Crescent Robberfly (Asilus sericeus, male) eating a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Person Co., NC
13 June 2006
Robberfly eating a Pearl Crescent Robberfly (Asilus sericeus, male) eating a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Person Co., NC
13 June 2006
Robberfly eating a Northern Crescent Robberfly (Asilus sericeus, female) eating a Northern Crescent
(Thanks to Herschel R. for the robber ID!)

Crawford Co., MI
7 July 2003
Black and Yellow Argiope <I>(Argiope aurantia)</I>eating a Painted Lady Black and Yellow Argiope eating a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

New Hanover Co., NC 27 Aug 2005

Crab Spider eating a Red-spotted Purple Crab Spider eating a Red-spotted Purple

Granville Co., NC 10 Sep 2006

Silver-spotted Skipper with a mantis Silver-spotted Skipper eaten by a mantis
Pender Co., NC
13 Sep 2009
Silver-spotted Skipper with Crab Spider Silver-spoteed Skipper nabbed by a Crab Spider
Orange Co., NC
19 Sep 2004
Silver-spotted Skipper with Crab Spider same as above
Crab Spider eating Common Sootywing While one Common Sootywing nectars, another is in the clutches of a crab spider!

Pettigrew State Park
Tyrrell Co., NC
17 June 2001
Fiery Skipper & crab spider
Chatham Co., NC
26 September 2004
same individual as above
Female Byssus Skipper & crab spider
Craven Co., NC
29 August 2004
same individuals as above
Female Delaware Skipper & crab spider
Craven Co., NC
29 August 2004
crab spider eating a Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

Crab spider eating a Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

Orange Co., NC
24 Aug 2006
Delaware Skipper & Green Lynx Spider
Craven Co., NC
29 August 2004
same individuals as above
Clouded Skipper & Green Lynx Spider
Craven Co., NC
29 August 2004
Clouded Skipper & Crab Spider
Pender Co., NC
13 Sep 2009
Woodland Skipper and Crab Spider
Missoula Co., MT
5 Aug 2014
Dion Skipper & Green Lynx Spider

Brunswick Co., NC
4 Sep 04
same individual as above
Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper in clutches of crab spider Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper in clutches of a crab spider
Pender Co., NC
13 Sep 2009
Carolina Roadside-Skipper & crab spider
Craven Co., NC
29 August 2004
Twin-spot Skipper & Green Lynx Spider

Brunswick Co., NC
30 Aug 2008

Ocola Skipper & crab spider
Pender Co., NC
11 Sep 2016

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Created on ... July 24, 2003 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com