Insect that kills Monarch Butterfly caterpillars
Location:  North Central Wisconsin
August 1, 2010 7:33 pm
My aunt saw this bug killing one of the caterpillars in her garden. Do you know what it is?
Todd Nelson

Spined Soldier Bug Nymph (we believe) feasting on Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Todd,
This hunter is a Predatory Stink Bug nymph in the subfamily Asopinae.  We believe it is a Spined Soldier Bug in the genus
Podisus, but immature insects are often notoriously difficult to properly identify. BugGuide has a nice description of the genus.

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8 Responses to Immature Predatory Stink Bug eats Monarch Caterpillar

  1. susan panse says:

    How do you get rid of stink bug and not harm caterpillar? Thank you, Susan

    • bugman says:

      If you really want to try to save the Monarch Caterpillars but not harm the environment, you can hand pick and squash the Stink Bugs. That is our pesticide free recommendation. Beware as these are predators and they might bite a human if provoked. We recommend using thick garden gloves for the task to reduce the potential for a bite.

      • MonicaK says:

        My observation: The problem with squashing stink bugs is that they, well, stink! Even handling them, at least the Leaf-Footed Bugs here on the Texas Gulf Coast, will be an unpleasant olfactory experience. It’s a defense mechanism.

        I’ve used two methods. The best is a portable hand-held vacuum (works for “Palmetto Bugs” too). The other is quickly knocking them into a jar of soapy water. Both work very well as the bugs don’t have time to release the odor.

  2. Alec Monk says:

    I see this happening in my garden in Auckland New Zealand

  3. Liz says:

    Yesterday, I saw a stink bug nymph near a monarch chrysalis. It has its pointy mouth at the top part of the chrysalis. Today the chrysalis has some discoloring in the top area of the chrysalis. Can a stink bug nymph kill a monarch butterfly while in a chrysalis?

    • bugman says:

      Yes it can, and the brown coloration is a good indication the chrysalis has died.

      • Liz says:

        Thank you so much for the clarification. So many of my monarch raising friends are disagreeing with me and think I’m crazy. They all are saying the discoloration is from a Tfly or chalcid wasp. I was 99% sure the chrysalis died from the stink bug. Now I’m 100% sure. I couldn’t find anything online about it, though. I only found stink bugs killing caterpillars.
        Thank you so much!!

  4. Heather Sandifer says:

    Will stink bugs eat the entire chrysalis? I had two that were destroyed overnight in my screened in butterfly garden. One is completely gone and the other is 2/3 eaten w dark remnants smeared around.

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