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Characteristics

Characteristics:

The chemical ecology of these butterflies is fairly well known. Larvae of basal Tithoreina feed on host plants in the family Apocynaceae, a host plant group shared with the related danaine butterflies. Most species, however feed on the Solanaceae, which is a very speciose and chemically diverse plant family. Most ithomiines are thought to be distasteful to predators, but interestingly some species do not sequester chemicals from their larval host plants (Brown 1984a & b). Instead the males collect pyrrolizidine alkaloids from flowers (especially Asteraceae) and rotting leaves (mainly of Boraginaceae). This may be an adaptation to reduce dependence on larval host plant chemicals (Brown, 1987).

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