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Official Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa
2020, Metamorphosis Volume 31 Part 1 Articles: 23 - 27
Publication Date : 2020-05-12
Author/s : Etienne Terblanche

Title :

Peculiar behaviour of a female Alaena margaritacea (Eltringham, 1929) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Poritiinae)

Abstract :

A female Alaena margaritacea was observed using her legs to groom grass blades on a slope, the type locality, near Haenertsburg, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The behaviour was video-recorded. The article describes the behaviour’s peculiarities and stages such as reiterative grooming at blade tips. Using extant literature, it posits two hypotheses for the behaviour’s function: that it involves territorial, sexual scent-marking or that it aims to repel competing feeders such as ants by the putative use of semiochemicals.

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Keywords:

Alaena margaritacea, ethology, grass-grooming, scent-marking, sexual attraction, feeding competition, pheromones, semiochemicals

Citation :

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