Butterfly-Plant Coevolution: Has Passiflora adenopoda Won the Selectional Race with Heliconiine Butterflies?

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Science  07 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3983, pp. 585-586
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3983.585


Hooklike trichomes of Passiflora adenopoda provide a specific, effectively absolute defense against heliconiine butterfly larvae, a major class of Passiflora herbivores. It is suggested that since mechanical defenses are usually more selective in their action against herbivores, they usually are evolved by a plant only after it has accumulated a series of chemical defenses.