Natures wonders: butterfly plant relationships (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 18:10 (806 days ago) @ David Turell

Just as the Monarch butterfly feasts on specific milkweed, an Australian butterfly chooses a specific vine:

"The Richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondi) is a species that is found across north-east Australia, though habitat loss means that its range is growing more limited. Adults of the species are normally found only in or near rainforest but on rare occasions they have been spotted in drier conditions.

"The butterfly lays its eggs almost exclusively on a particular kind of vine – known, for this reason, as Richmond birdwing butterfly vine (Pararistolochia praevenosa) – which has leaves that are toxic to most predators. When hatched, the caterpillars need a lot to eat: each one can require the equivalent of a 10-year-old vine to fatten itself up enough to wrap itself in a cocoon and transform into an adult butterfly."

Comment: The vine protects the young larvae. Perhaps this is a pattern God uses in evolution for butterflies. Think about it. Did the adult butterflies, when they first used the plant, know it was safe for their larvae. or was this all planned in advance? Hard to imagine how this evolved by chance.

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