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Studies find that butterflies are used to avoid predators


KOMPAS.com – The research team at the National Museum d’Histoire Naturelle in a study found evidence that butterflies use their survival, namely to avoid predators.

The butterfly is used as a diversion from predators from important parts of the butterfly’s body.

In a study published in Royal Society Proceedings Bthe research team explained how the finding came about after experimenting with birds and butterflies in their labs.

As cited in PhysMonday (20/6/2022) wild, birds and sticks chase and catch butterflies as their food source.

Also read: 5 largest butterflies in the world, 2 of them only in Indonesia

Previous research has shown that butterflies have evolved independently into many species of butterflies and moths.

But why the butterflies have that, the researchers don’t have an answer yet.

Until finally the researchers suspected that the butterfly used its tail in a similar way to lizards, namely as bait.

To find out which butterflies use their tails to escape predators, the researchers began their study by capturing and releasing 65 swallowtail butterflies.

Each was checked for damage to the butterfly’s tail or wings. The researchers found that 41 percent had damage, including the tail.

Also read: Why are butterfly wings larger than the body? Experts find the answer

SHUTTERSTOCK / Tommy Larey flower illustration, butterfly illustration – Buddleja Flower.

The researchers then continued their experiments by placing artificial butterflies (true butterfly wings attached to a fake body) in a cage along with the title, which is the butterfly’s main predator.

To record the movement of butterflies and birds, the researchers used high-speed cameras.

As a result, researchers found that 43 of the 59 butterfly attacks occurred on the tail.

Researchers have also found that the veins in the tail are more fragile, allowing them to detach very easily like a lizard.

Read also: After 150 years, this British butterfly is back from extinction

This has led researchers to conclude that butterflies use their tails as a distraction from birds or sticks to avoid reaching the main parts of their bodies.

Instead, the predator will chase the tail of the butterfly that will end up hunting for anything other than the broken tail.

This self-defense mechanism also allows the butterfly to survive predator attacks.

Next, the researchers plan to find out what impact happens after the butterfly loses its tail.

Also read: How Butterflies Reproduce

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