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Official Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa
2006, Metamorphosis Volume 17, Issue 4: 140 - 150
Publication Date : 2006-12-31
Author/s : Mark C. Williams

Title :

What do the larvae of Alaena amazoula (Boisduval, 1847) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) feed on?

Abstract :

Final instar larvae of the poritiine  lycaenid Alaena amazoula (Boisduval, 1847) that had fed on the surface growth of rocks were killed and fixed in 10% formalin.  Paraffin wax-embedded blocks of the mid-section of the body of the larvae were prepared, histological sections were made, and the sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin.  Fragments of ingesta that were observed in the lumen of the alimentary tract of the larvae using a light microscope were identified as fragments of a lichen.  Identification was based on the finding of algal cells, containing sporoblasts, embedded in a fungal mycelium composed of intertwined, branching septate fungal hyphae.  This is the first time empirical evidence of the diet of any species of poritiine has been presented.

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