Pupae cases built by ants

Dave Horsley
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Pupae cases built by ants

Postby Dave Horsley » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:30 pm

Chalkhill Blue pupa case 0005373.jpg
The ants with this potential pupa covering?
I posted this on the General forum but had no reply so I thought I would try the species forum for Chalkhill blues.
I went looking for Chalkhill blue larvae last week - found some but also found some ants tending a small, brown, open case which just looked perfect for a larva to pupate in. There was a lot of ant activity. I don't think it was last year's case so do the ants build the cases to put the larva/pupa in? This seems a bit unlikely and requires some foresight. Does anyone out there know whether this might be a possibility?

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Padfield
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Re: Pupae cases built by ants

Postby Padfield » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:31 pm

I saw your post, and thought the photo was brilliant, but I didn't know the answer, so didn't reply. I'm sure someone does, so keep this one alive!

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Pupae cases built by ants

Postby Pete Eeles » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:34 pm

Hi Dave,

There's no description that I'm aware of that would suggest that ants build cocoons for any species - any cocoon being built by the larva itself.

Cheers,

- Pete

Dave Horsley
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Re: Pupae cases built by ants

Postby Dave Horsley » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:41 pm

Jeremy Thomas says in The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland
lives concealed in an earthen cell moulded by ants beneath the vetches
which is exactly where I found this.
Dave

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Pupae cases built by ants

Postby Pete Eeles » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:50 pm

Thanks Dave - I'd not read this. I also wonder what Jeremy means by "moulding" and "earthen cell" :)

Cheers,

- Pete

Dave Horsley
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Re: Pupae cases built by ants

Postby Dave Horsley » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:41 pm

It would be nice to think that is exactly what the photo shows!
Dave


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