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Butterfly

• Dickson’s Strandveld Copper, an uncommon species of butterfly, has a symbiotic relationship with ants. The ants pick up their larvae and carry them into their nests to obtain certain essential nutrients that the larvae exude. However, while in the nest the larvae (or caterpillars) turn on their hosts and start eating the ants’ larvae and pupae.
• A species of butterfly found on the West Coast practice what is known as “hill topping”. Dominant males circle over a koppie and fight off lesser males for supremacy and the right to mate. Their wings have very sharp barbs that they use as weapons.
• The ‘eye’ on most butterfly wings is a means of camouflage against predators. Predators, assuming that these eyes are on the butterfly’s head, attack them first. This allows the butterfly to escape, even though its wings might be torn and tattered.

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