Chemical mimicry and host specificity in the butterfly Maculinea rebeli, a social parasite of Myrmica ant colonies

@article{Akino1999ChemicalMA,
  title={Chemical mimicry and host specificity in the butterfly Maculinea rebeli, a social parasite of Myrmica ant colonies},
  author={T. Akino and J. J. Knapp and J. Thomas and G. Elmes},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences},
  year={1999},
  volume={266},
  pages={1419 - 1426}
}
  • T. Akino, J. J. Knapp, +1 author G. Elmes
  • Published 1999
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • Although it has always been assumed that chemical mimicry and camouflage play a major role in the penetration of ant societies by social parasites, this paper provides the first direct evidence for such a mechanism between the larvae of the parasitic butterfly Maculinea rebeli and its ant host Myrmica schencki. In the wild, freshly moulted fourth–instar caterpillars, which have no previous contact with ants, appear to be recognized as ant larvae by foraging Myrmica workers, which return them to… CONTINUE READING
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