Cannibalistic Monarchs???

Pierre A Plauzoles plauzolesp at
Mon Aug 14 14:05:17 EDT 2000

"Martha V. Lutz & Charles T. Lutz" wrote:

> Hello!
> Can anyone confirm (or refute) for me that Monarch larvae will eat
> conspecific eggs?  A few years ago while raising Monarchs I lost an egg.  I
> thought I had miscounted eggs, or perhaps misplaced one, or maybe the kids
> took it out and didn't put it back.  I thought about that disappearing egg
> today--when it happened again.

I know whereof you speak.

There a number of other possibilities.  Lacewings (probably either adults or
immatures) and coccinelids (ladybugs, also probably either adults or immatures)
come to mind right off the bat.  I had a couple hours-old hatchling gulf
fritillary caterpillars (and one less than an hour old) a couple years ago and
lost both them an some eggs on host plant (pssion vine foliage).  On checking
them the afternoon after I had captured them, I found one nice fat lacewing
larva and no caterpillars or eggs.  I was not a happy camper.

Pierre A Plauzoles
sphinxangelorum at

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