This morning, I noticed more Monarch butterfly wings on the ground below the butterfly bush. This only means that they died overnight. I picked them up and decided to look at the tree to see if I could explain why this is happening. It wasn’t until I was checking out the butterfly tree for a second time around that I noticed a green leaf move slowly. I checked it out and there it was – the culprit, a Preying Mantis. Although Monarchs are supposed to be poisonous, this little guy seems to have found a way around that.
I decided to check this out and it seems that Preying Mantis have adapted to eat Monarchs. I found this video in YouTube, which tells the story and it certainly happens at a blue butterfly bush. Check out the link here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfsJMKOMcis&feature=player_embedded
Here is a picture of my little guest (not so little) who is having a huge food fest.
It is a bit tricky to see the Mantis because she is perfectly camouflage. Focus on the center of the picture and there it is, in a vertical position heads down.
So the mystery is solved, and although I still feel sad about the fate of the butterflies, at least I am glad that the Mantis is surviving – it is the natural course of things, the cycle of life.