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"Two-headed" butterfly in Venezuela

 
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Iainp



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Hertfordshire, England

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:51 am    Post subject: "Two-headed" butterfly in Venezuela Reply with quote

Another from my last trip to Venezuela. This is the wonderful Togarna Hairstreak (Arawacus togarna). It gives the impression of being 'back to front' which confuses predators into attacking the wrong end!

And here's a link to the short video I shot at the time, showing the butterfly walking around and also waving its pseudo-antennae (or is that due to the wind?)

https://youtu.be/sFxp3ujTOYo


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Carmen



Joined: 10 Feb 2015
Posts: 273
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Ian! Strange, but beautiful!
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17516
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: "Two-headed" butterfly in Venezuela Reply with quote

Iainp wrote:
... waving its pseudo-antennae (or is that due to the wind?)

Hairstreaks are fun to watch! The fine movements shown in the video are due to wind. The tails are just an extension of the wing veins and membranes, no muscle connections. But these butterflies also have a habit of moving the whole hind wings up and down slightly and alternately, so that the tails sort of scissor across each other. You can see some of that in the video, around 0:25 and following.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17516
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, there's some recent work indicating that those "false heads" are effective against spiders as well as larger predators.

Read about the experiment run by Andrei Sourakov at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity:
https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/science-stories/2013/04/15/jumping-spider-vs-hairstreak-butterfly-museum-scientist-puts-predator-prey-in-the-ring/

--Rik
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Iainp



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Hertfordshire, England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating. I did see several out there with the false head missing, presumably as a result of one of these 'close encounters.'

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