Atala Butterfly

Atala Butterfly

From Wikipedia: The Atala, Eumaeus atala, is a small colorful butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is found in southeastern Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands.

The atala is a great example of aposematic (warning) coloration throughout its life cycle. The brightly colored larva or caterpillar feeds on cycads which contain a toxic secondary plant chemical (“cycasin”) which it retains in its body for life. Birds, lizards, and other animals may attempt to prey on the larva, pupa, and adults, but find them distasteful and learn to avoid these brightly patterned insects.

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