Antbutterflies: Butterflies That Follow Army Ants to Feed on Antbird Droppings

Science  05 Dec 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4474, pp. 1147-1148
DOI: 10.1126/science.210.4474.1147


Females of three species of tropical rain forest ithomiine butterflies orient to swarms of army ants (Eciton burchelli) and feed on bird droppings found there. The antbirds associated with swarm raids of these ants provide a predictable source of droppings, an otherwise sparsely distributed resource.