Butterfly’s are prey to a number of predators, which includes birds, spiders, lizards, small mammals and even other insects. These predators are looking for food and they’re looking to catch whatever prey is the easiest or closest to them. Because the butterfly tends to stand out with its brightly colored wings and isn’t particularly fast, they’re often seen as easy prey. Although many people don’t like to hear about butterfly’s being viewed as food, this is simply Mother Nature’s way of preventing an overpopulation of butterfly’s.
The Monarch Butterfly is one of the few exceptions when it comes to being preyed upon. This is because they ate milkweed when they were a caterpillar, which tends to leave a bad taste in a predators mouth.
How Butterfly’s Avoid Predators
Because the majority of butterfly’s are quite fragile, they tend to rely on a number strategies to protect them from their predators.
- Hiding. One of the most popular ways that butterfly’s avoid their predators is by hiding from them. They especially like hiding in trees, either under the leaves or within the bark. Butterfly’s will also look for a place where they’re able to camouflage themselves so they can’t be seen. This is done by their blending in with the natural objects around them, often pretending to be in inanimate object in order to not draw attention.
- Warning. For the most part, predators use their vision to find their prey. Some butterfly’s are able to avoid being eaten by their predators simply because of their bright colors and/or the pattern of their wings. Many predators will remember this and choose to prey on butterfly’s that aren’t as bold in their color.
- Fleeing. Some butterfly’s when under attack will fly away in a highly erratic manner in order to lose their prey.
- Mimicing. Some butterfly’s will mimic their predators natural enemies, which will help deter the predator from further following the butterfly.
- Deceiving. Some butterfly’s will deceive their predators by creating an illusion that tricks that predator so they’re not sure exactly what they’re attacking.
Why Butterfly’s are Important
Butterfly’s are important because they play a large part in our of overall ecosystem. They help pollinate our plants so we’re able to have access to hundreds of different kinds of foods. Planting a butterfly garden is always a good idea, and now that you know what the butterfly’s predators are and how they can avoid them you’re able to create a butterfly-friendly atmosphere that will last you for many years to come.