The pupae of blue butterflies attract protective ants by rubbing together teeth-like projections on their bodies to create vibrations.

“The pupa of the Australian blue butterfly (Jalmenus evagorus) uses vibration to attract ants, whose presence deters would-be predators. In turn, the ants drink the sweet-tasting fluid secreted by the pupa. In 2000, Harvard University researchers Dr. Mark Travassos and Dr. Naomi Pierce revealed that the pupa attracts the ants by rubbing together a series of closely aligned teeth-like projections on its body, vibrating the branch to which it is attached. Alerted by the vibrations, nearby ants run to the pupa to feast on the fluid.” (Shuker 2001:36)

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Last Updated August 18, 2016