Butterfly-predacious Hornets

J W pm.nc-1 at usa.net
Wed Aug 5 17:27:31 EDT 1998

Thanks to all for all responses,  both in-string,  and out-of-string,
all are appreciated and contained interesting perspectives and, or -
insight.  Do not overlook the out-of-string posts,  as they relate
directly to some in-string comments or questions.

Liz,  yes,  at least from my observations,  a hornets nest located
nearby would affect the population of those butterflies that are
vulnerable to them.  three days and earllier before my 1st post,  we
were seeing 12 - 14 Yellow Swallowtails,  and 3 - 4 Black
Swallowtails,  nearly anytime during the day.  Since then,  the count
has steadily decreased to 2 - 4,  of those combined,  and new remains
have been spotted beneath the B-Bush each day.  Certain small
butterfly species are taken regularly,  and some don't seem to be
taken at all.   

Pierre,  I agree,  it would depend on the numbers of each,  and factor
in the population and proximity of the nest.

Heinze,  <'more'>,  I suspect. ;-)

Laurel,  As intended,  and,  as intended.  

I am now having little concern for the YJ's effect on 'adult'
butterflies,  and now feel their effect will prove to be minimal,  but
both hornet types described have proven their impact on the adults.
The JY's impact,  on the other hand,  is proven on eggs and young.
For this reason your experiment and suggestion is of interest and

Co-incidental with our described hornet experience,  one of my
next-door-neighbors,  unaware of the situation,  called my attention
to a very simple, and easy to make,  trap he had made after seeing a
similar commercially mfg'd trap.  His results were stunning,  both in
variety and quantity.  Among his trapping, YJ's and Hornets,  were
well represented,  but no Honeybees were trapped.  The trap was hung
four feet high,  and adjacent to a mulch pile which contained table
scraps.  A measure of water was in the trap bottom,  to drown his
catch.  Based on your experiment,  I suspect Carolina Mantids,  or
preying mantis,  could be substituted for the water.  Maybe a bit of
burger should be tried for selective catches,  in lieu of the
chocolate candy bit my neighbor used for bait.        

James,  no suing from this direction !,  'Right on'.  :-)

Michael,  acknowledged.

ALL -  As info,  

The aforementioned 'yellow and orange' Hornets still keep their
nesting habitrs secret from me.  One educator ventured that this
hornet may be the 'old world' hornet,  'Vespa',  and may not build a
nest in the open,  but possibly in the ground.  Note - This Hornet is
slightly larger than the common Black and Cream colored hornet,  which
builds a grey,  spherical nest in trees.

The Butterfly Bush observed is 10 feet high by 8 feet wide.

In order that back-yard flower gardeners may more quickly become aware
of a possible need to learn of hornet coping measures,  I propose that
consideration be given to changing the common name, ' Butterfly Bush',
to ' Butterfly AM-bush' .



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