Butterfly-predacious Hornets

Pierre A Plauzoles ae779 at lafn.org
Mon Aug 3 17:42:13 EDT 1998

In a previous article, lday at iquest.net (Liz Day) says:

>Doug Y. (I think) told me they eat the thoraces because that's where the
>most muscles (flight muscles) are, for protein.
>I don't think hornets or yellow jackets are really that bad, they eat
>caterpillars but I think most of those are "pest" caterpillars.  I haven't
>SEEN them going for our butterflies, but that doesn't mean they aren't.
>Would a hornet nest really affect the butterfly population near it?

Possibly.  I once saw a sphinx moth caterpillar (Smerinthus cerisyi, 
Cerisy's sphinx, as I recall) at the Nature Conservancy's Kern River 
Preserve (now transferred to Audubon) that had been taken by a large 
wasp (the site where the wasp had injected the caterpillar with its 
paralysing agent or whatever was visible).  The wasp dropped the 
caterpillar when an observer working on the preserve's biodiversity came 
around the corner of an adjacent building.  How great the effect will be, 
I suppose, depends on the numbers of wasps and butterflies (and moths and 
their caterpillars) present.
Pierre Plauzoles   ae779 at lafn.org
Canoga Park, California

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