A Rainforest Arms Race


High in the canopy of a Latin American rainforest, a bright yellow, orange, and black butterfly flutters along. It is a Heliconid butterfly, looking fora passion flower vine to lay her eggs on.

She is one soldier in a war for survival between Heliconid butterflies and passion flower vines. For the butterflies, the goal is to lay their eggs; for the vines, to keep from being eaten.

When the eggs hatch, the Heliconid caterpillars will feed on the vine's leaves. Most insects can't do this, because passion flower vines are poisonous.


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