Defensive behavior in lemon butterfly Papilio demoleus L. (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) against predation
Hind Suhail Abdulhay
The present study investigated the effect of camouflage in larvae of lime swallowtail, Papilio demoleus L. as a prey on the predator behavior. Three experimental groups were done to find out whether young chicks, Gallus gallus domesticus, as predators can recognize and attack the initial larvae of P. demoleus L. that resemble bird droppings from the larvae frass, or the latest greenish fifth instar onwards from different backgrounds colors. Experiments were first conducted by introducing the young larvae either alone or mixed with frass or the frass only to the chicks. All the chicks have failed to identify the larvae from the frass. Second experiment on the fifth instar onwards larvae were conducted by putting them on different backgrounds colors, a closely matched or contrasted with the coloration of the prey. Chicks showed greater attack for prey on contrasting backgrounds, and did not recognized or attacked the prey on a matching background. Third experiment was tested the ability of the chicks to recognize and attack the two dimorphic colors of the pupae. The experiment provides evidence that prey on contrast background may produce better recognition and attack for the predators.