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Epidendrum ciliare and wasp mimic

Discussion in 'Pets and Wildlife' started by Ricardo, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

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    These are the flowers of Epidendrum ciliare, a plant from St. Croix, the flowers attracted a moth, Empyreuma pugione, that mimics tarantula wasps.

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  2. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    That is very cool. Does it mimic tarantula wasps to avoid predation?
     
  3. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Right! Wonder if there’s anything that thinks eating a tarantula wasp is worthwhile.
     
  4. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

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    I think it does, but there is another detail, this moth feeds on the leaves of Nerium oleander during its caterpillar phase. Nerium is toxic, and the caterpillar incorporates the toxicity into its tissues. So not only it mimic an insect with a powerful sting, it also has poison to counteract any animal foolish enough to try to eat it.
     
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  5. RustyExotics

    RustyExotics Nicholas - It's a terrestrial thing

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    Imagine walking out to a plant swarming with Tarantula Wasps... It'd keep me away at the least...