Blackwell Publishing

Coevolution - What is coevolution?


What is this ant doing?

This photogragh shows an ant (Formica fusca ) feeding on the caterpillar of the lycaenid butterfly Glaucopsyche lygdamus . The ant is not eating the caterpillar; it is drinking 'honeydew' from a special organ (Newcomer's organ), the sole purpose of which seems to be to provide food for ants. Why do these caterpillars feed the ants? Naomi Pierce from Harvard has been investigating the relationship between the two.

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