Monarch Predators Revisited: A Beneficial Insect is a Beneficial Insect

by Rob Diaz De Villegas

A few weeks ago, I saw an image just like the one above. The photo up there is one of a couple I’ve taken of a paper wasp carrying off a tiny monarch caterpillar. On that day in 2019, my kids were watching and were not happy that I didn’t stop it. They didn’t buy that I couldn’t pluck the wasp out of the air and take the caterpillar from its mandibles without harming it. To this day, I’m not happy seeing monarchs taken, but I’ve come to see it as a thing that happens in a healthy backyard ecosystem. Those same wasps patrol my pepper and tomato plants, picking off the caterpillars that eat them. They’re a help to me.

Read More at the WFSU Ecology Blog