Caterpillar chemical turns ants into bodyguards

A trio of researchers with Kobe University in Japan has found that lycaenid butterfly caterpillars of the Japanese oakblue variety, have dorsal nectary organ secretions that cause ants that eat the material to abandon their fellow ants to instead hang out with and defend the caterpillar against enemies. In their paper published in the journal Current Biology, Masaru Hojo, Naomi Pierce and Kazuki Tsuji describe their research into the relationship between the two creatures and why they...

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