Ants, birds, and skippers.

G. T. Austin, J. P. Brock, O. H. H. Mielke


A large number of skipper species (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) were found associated with army ant swarms in Brazil. These butterflies aggregate to feed on the droppings of birds attracted to the insects flushed by advancing swarms. In contrast to the female-dominated use of bird droppings by ithomiine butterflies, skipper use was almost exclusively by males.


Argentina; army ants; Aves; behavior; birds; Brazil; droppings; Formicidae; Hesperiidae; Hymenoptera; Mexico; Neotropical; nutrients; skippers

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