storey's picture

White Admiral and wasp

Observed: 1st July 2011 By: storey

While looking for white admiral in Broxbourne Woods on 1st July I noticed a a clump of bramble hanging upside down from a dead (?)wasp and feeding on it.The wasp seems to have been killed (?) and wrapped in silk by a spider.Both insects were suspended by a thread from a leaf.Can anyone offer an explanation for this behaviour which I have never seen before in many years of butterfly observation?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


DavidHowdon's picture


I know some butterflies will take juices from rotting meat as a source of minerals. I wonder if this is what is happening here?

creaturesnapper's picture

White Admiral

Please excuse my stupidity ,I should have read the text before putting in the ID.As to the behavior I am at a loss .

Michael Skelton's picture

White Admiral

A very interesting observation. I have often seen butterflies feeding on often malodorous carrion, but never on dead insects, but I'm sure David Howdon is right in thinking that the butterfly is obtaining some minerals from the wasp.