Caterpillars of Maculinea nausithous were bred in plaster nests with a colony Myrmica ruginodis ants. Sounds recording were made and the behaviour of the ants and the various stages of the caterpillars was recorded with a video-camera. As for food, caterpillars were critical and only fed on ant-larvae in a specific stage of development. During all stages (inlcuding the pupation) the caterpillars produced vibration signals. Also the butterflies vibrated during the emergence.

plasternests, lycaenidae, vibrations., breeding, Lepidoptera, Myrmica, Maculinea nausithous

CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam

Nico W. Elfferich. (1998). New facts on the life history of the dusky large blue Maculinea nausithous (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) obtained by breeding with Myrmica ants in plaster nests. Deinsea, 4(1), 97–102.