Cute chubby Monarch caterpillars munching Crown Flower leaves which have a milky sap that is supposed to make the Monarch something to be avoided by predators UNTIL, the ruthless Red Vented Bulba started eating the little cats.
I've been 'raising' Monarch caterpillars again this year (since 2002), but a HUGE problem has now cast a dark shadow on the Monarch Butterfly population!
It's The Red Vented Bulba.
They are smart and ruthless, and found that if they eat the very young Monarch caterpillars, the natural toxins in the cats aren't strong enough to give them indigestion.
Last year, I noticed the little cats on a Crown Flower leaf, then they'd be gone. Watching more closely I discovered the Bulba swooping in and eating them. They now are able to eat the Monarch Butterfly with no apparent problem!
Recently I put my newly-morphed butterfly outside so it could fly away, and within minutes, 2 Bulba swooped in and ATE it!
I usually love birds, but the Bulba is no friend to the Monarch Butterfly.