Subject: Monarch butterfly predator
Geographic location of the bug: Phoenix, AZ
Time: 06:11 PM EDT
This bug is eating my monarchs. What kind is it and what can I do to prevent them attaching my monarchs.
How you want your letter signed: Kathryn e
We need some clarification. How do you know these Western Leaf Footed Bugs, Leptoglossus clypealis, are feeding upon your Monarchs? Are they feeding on adult Monarchs or Monarch Caterpillars? Leaf Footed Bugs are not known to be a predatory family. Furthermore, they would not be feeding upon milkweed which is the only place they would encounter Monarch Caterpillars. We seriously doubt your claim which is why we would like to know details. The Western Leaf Footed Bug can be distinguished from other similar looking members of the genus by the presence of a spine on the head known as a tylus, a feature pictured on BugGuide.
First let me thank you for taking the time to help me. I know you and others volunteer your time for which, I am very grateful. I am new to studying Monarchs as I have started planting milkweed, caring for eggs, larva, and butterflies, releasing Monarchs here in AZ, and documenting data with the SW Monarch Study for the last two years. This is my first foray into bug identification and study.
Thank you for letting me know the name of the bug and I am glad to know he is not a predator. I have an abundance of aphids, Assassin bugs, and green lacewings so there is much going on in the garden.
Thank you so much for volunteering your time, it is truly a gift.
Thanks for responding Kathryn,
If we are understanding your response correctly, you merely suspected this might be a Monarch predator and you have no actual first hand observations of any predation.
Yes, that is correct.