Document Detail

Web-spinning caterpillar stalks snails.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16040699     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Moths and butterflies compose one of the most diverse insect orders, but they are overwhelmingly herbivorous. Less than 0.2% are specialized predators, indicating that lepidopteran feeding habits are highly constrained. We report a Hawaiian caterpillar that specializes on snails, a unique food source requiring an unusual feeding strategy. The caterpillar uses silk to restrain live prey. All caterpillars have silk glands, but none are known to use silk in this spiderlike fashion. Considering the canalization of caterpillar diets, evolution to attack and feed on snails is an anomaly. Hawaii s isolation and consequently disharmonic biota likely promote evolutionary experiments that occur nowhere else.
Daniel Rubinoff; William P Haines
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  309     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2005 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-07-25     Completed Date:  2005-08-04     Revised Date:  2007-03-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  575     Citation Subset:  IM    
310 Gilmore Hall, Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, 3050 Maile Way, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Feeding Behavior
Larva / physiology
Moths / physiology*
Predatory Behavior
Silk / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
Comment In:
Science. 2006 Mar 10;311(5766):1377   [PMID:  16527952 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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