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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Morphology and behavior of the early stages of the skipper, Urbanus esmeraldus, on Urera baccifera, an ant-visited host plant

Moraes, Alice R. [1] ; Greeney, Harold F. [2, 3] ; Oliveira, Paulo S. [4] ; Barbosa, Eduardo P. [4, 1] ; Freitas, Andre V. L. [4]
Total Authors: 5
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Programa Posgrad Ecol, BR-13083862 Campinas, SP - Brazil
[2] Yanayacu Biol Stn, Quito - Ecuador
[3] Ctr Creat Studies, Quito - Ecuador
[4] Univ Estadual Campinas, Dept Biol Anim, BR-13083862 Campinas, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: JOURNAL OF INSECT SCIENCE; v. 12, APR 12 2012.
Web of Science Citations: 4

The Neotropical genus Urbanus (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) contains around 34 described species, and is widely distributed from the extreme southern United States to Argentina. Here, we describe the larval morphology and behavior of Urbanus esmeraldus (Hubner)(Hesperiidae) in Urera baccifera (Urticaceae), a plant producing food rewards and fleshy fruits that attract ants (including predacious species) in a Brazilian forest. Larvae pass through five instars and construct two kinds of leaf shelters. Experiments with ejected fecal pellets showed that these can serve as cues to ground-dwelling ants that climb onto host plants and potentially attack the larvae. Manipulation with pellets placed at different distances suggests that ejection behavior decreases larval vulnerability to ant predation. Larval preference for mature leaves may be related with increased predation risk at ant-visited young leaves. The study shows that a combination of natural history and experimental data can help understand the life history of a butterfly using a plant with high predation risk. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 98/05101-8 - Lepidoptera of the State of São Paulo: diversity, distribution, resources, and use for analysis and environmental monitoring
Grantee:Keith Spalding Brown Junior
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants
FAPESP's process: 00/01484-1 - Butterfilies as environmental indicators: monitoring with Nymphalidae (Eurytelinae and Satyrinae)
Grantee:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate