Lycaena xanthoides - Great Copper (Lycaenidae) &
The larvae of many species of Lycaenid butterflies are associated with ants. Here a pair of Lycaena caterpillars are being tended by velvety tree ants (Liometopum occidentale). The caterpillars produce a substance attractive to the ants, and the ants provide protection from predators and parasites.
This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at) myrmecos.net). Most of the photographs on myrmecos.net are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission. In some cases, higher quality versions are available.
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 20D, using a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.