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and Parasites on the Prowl
Sucking the life from their victims, devouring the eggs, eating the young; you don't have to go to Africa to see it! You can explore the predator/prey interactions that monarchs face in your own backyard. You'll be amazed at what you see.
I certainly was! Right before my eyes, my monarch caterpillar suddenly split open--and out crawled 3 maggots. It was like science fiction....The white maggots, I learned later, were tachinid fly larvae.
The adult tachinid fly lays its eggs on monarch larvae--and the young flies develop inside. Just before my monarch caterpillar became a chrysalis, the fly larvae emerged from its body. I knew they were alive and was curious, so I kept them. Within a few days, the larvae developed into adult flies . . .
Not as nice as raising monarchs, maybe, but fascinating.