The capacity of a Myrmica ant nest to support a predacious species of Maculinea butterfly

@article{Thomas1992TheCO,
  title={The capacity of a Myrmica ant nest to support a predacious species of Maculinea butterfly},
  author={Jeremy A. Thomas and Judith C. Wardlaw},
  journal={Oecologia},
  year={1992},
  volume={91},
  pages={101-109}
}
Caterpillars of Maculinea arion are obligate predators of the brood of Myrmica sabuleti ants. In the aboratory, caterpillars eat the largest available ant larvae, although eggs, small larvae and prepupae are also palatable. This is an efficient way to predate. It ensures that newly-adopted caterpillars consume the final part of the first cohort of ant brood in a nest, before this pupates in early autumn and becomes unavailable as prey. At the same time, the fixed number of larvae in the second… CONTINUE READING