Monday Night Mystery

What’s this?

Five points for picking the family, five points for the genus.  And infinity points for figuring out what the those balloon-like structures are for. I have no idea.


  1. #1 Wilma Lingle
    March 1, 2010

    I can’t even tell if it is coming or going …

    Striking photograph regardless.

  2. #2 JasonC.
    March 1, 2010

    Riodinidae , genus is Theope. Yay, I got one!

  3. #3 JasonC.
    March 1, 2010

    Ooh, and do i get extra points for saying that it’s being attended by Azteca velox? I’m really excited right now.

  4. #4 JasonC.
    March 1, 2010

    “In these obligate symbioses the

    exaggerated balloon setae surrounding the head of

    Theope caterpillars (figure 1) appear important in med-

    iating associations with dolichoderine ants by providing

    semiochemical stimuli to ant symbionts (DeVries 1997).”

    From “Ancient butterfly-ant symbiosis: direct evidence from Dominican amber” (DeVries and Poinar 1997).

    Gosh, is this the DeVries who has some show on Animal Planet?

  5. #5 Wilma Lingle
    March 1, 2010

    so, it is coming, then!

  6. #6 myrmecos
    March 1, 2010

    Gosh. Infinity points. I’m not even sure how to start giving those out!

  7. #7 JasonC.
    March 1, 2010

    I found something that refutes that and says they’re “used to store and disperse a noxious chemical when the caterpillar or pupa is grabbed by a predator, rather than to facilitate a symbiotic relationship with ants, as previously suggested.” I can’t access it, but you might.

    Well, time to get to my homework, then!

  8. #8 cupi
    March 2, 2010

    some caterpillar

  9. #9 Marc "Teleutotje" Van der Stappen
    March 2, 2010

    And the first moment I saw this photograph I wondered if someone would remember your photograps and but no …..

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