Blackwell Publishing

Are lycaenid butterflies and formica ants coevolved?

"You could say that these traits - licking and grooming in ants or secreting substances in caterpillars - may have evolved for completely different reasons. They may not have evolved in concert with each other or because of the evolutionary history of both partners. They may have evolved under quite independent circumstances, and when butterflies and ants encountered each other they were just well adapted to each other, and so they're coadapted. In order to know whether it is coevolution as opposed to coadaptation we need to know more about the history of butterflies and ants."

Naomi Pierce

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