At all stages of the life cycle, butterflies are in danger. The butterfly is most vulnerable in the stages of eggs, caterpillars and pupae. Catching a fluttering butterfly is more difficult, and sometimes it requires too much energy from a predator.
Most often on the caterpillars of day butterflies attack birds, for which they are the best prey. During breeding, parents bring hundreds of caterpillars daily to hungry chicks. It is estimated that birds kill 23% of eggs and 22% of caterpillars in cabbage. Some birds prefer to attack butterflies during their rest, feeding or absorption of moisture.
A lucky feathered hunter rubs his prey on the branch, then shakes it, then the wings fly off, and the predator eats only the trunk. But drongo (southern birds resembling swifts) and swallows grab a butterfly on the fly.
Bats are dangerous for nocturnal butterflies. The location and size of the victim they determine by echolocation. The bat emits high-frequency sounds, which are reflected from the butterfly. The mouse flies in the right direction and seizes the prey.
However, if the butterfly’s body is hairy, the sound is muffled and not reflected. This saves from attack. Some of the night Lepidoptera on the chest or abdomen have auditory organs. At the slightest sound, the butterfly falls to the ground with a stone, hoping to get ahead of the bat. Some butterflies themselves make sounds that introduce bats into confusion.