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The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, is famous for its spectacular annual migration across North America, recent worldwide dispersal, and orange warning colouration. Despite decades of study and broad public interest, we know little about the genetic basis of these hallmark traits. Here we uncover the history of the monarch's evolutionary origin and… (More)
We present observations and experimental evidence for a new type of parasitoid-host interaction. In the Lampides boeticus (Lepidoptera) - Cotesia specularis (Hymenoptera) system, larvae of the former species readily kill and consume the parasitoid cocoons they find. Potential effects at both the individual and population levels are briefly outlined.
We sampled a total of 101 butterflies, including 92 D. plexippus and nine butterflies from other Danaus species (Supplementary Table 1). The North America population of monarchs undergoes a yearly migration from the United States and southern Canada to central Mexico (east of the Rocky Mountains) and coastal California (west of the Rocky Mountains). Our… (More)