Fruit Baits

Jungletour Jungletour at
Fri Apr 10 04:55:00 EDT 1998

I thought I would mention that I was back down in the Amazon basin this last
Christmas along the infamous Tapajos River, but this time I had a little
Portuguese under my net which made a tremendous difference. I was not able to
get any collecting or export permits so I didn't bring back any specimens;
however, I did make some interesting observations. For one, I observed that
(in addition to other various butterflies) both female and male Charaxinae
such as Agrias and Prepona will feed on sugarcane juice fermented with banana;
however, when using rotting fish and carrion, (in addition to other various
butterflies) only male Agrias and male Preponas came to the traps to feed. It
appears that the females are strictly fruit feeders. It would be interesting
to know what the biological reasons are for the selective food preferences for
the females and males. 

I have also noted what appears to be a mimicry relationship between various
Agrias species and Callicore species. Different colored Agrias, located in
different regions of the Amazon, are always accompanied by similar looking
Callicore or Asterope. Is this a coincidence or perhaps do the Callicores feed
on the same food plant? Much has been written about the claim for mimicry
between these two genuses; however, Phil DeVries believes that all of the
claims are strictly based on visual appearances of wing color, and that no
studies have been conducted with the use of birds, etc.

I actually do not know if either butterfly is distasteful to birds but I think
I may have read that the Callicores are distasteful and are considered the
models. It would be interesting to hear any additional thoughts on this


Jim Hanlon

P.S. I'm still looking for some milkweed.



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