Butterfly Thieves Steal From 'Badass' Ants—A First
On a humid afternoon a few years ago in the Peruvian Amazon, a flicker of motion caught Phil Torres' eye. A cherry-spot metalmark butterfly (Adelotypa annulifera) was drinking nectar from the tips of bamboo shoots. As he watched, he realized something strange was going on. Normally butterflies only sip at nectar for a few seconds, minutes at most—but these butterflies were feeding for hours, Torres later discovered. Even more bizarre, ants that live on the bamboo and chase away other insects from their home ignored the butterflies.