Eating non-native plants helps some butterflies fight viral infections

A white peacock butterfly in South Florida

Shutterstock/SoFlo Shots

Feeding on an exotic weed rather than their usual diet of native plants appears to help white peacock butterflies fight off viral infections. The finding points to the ability of certain species to take advantage of new flora introduced into their environment to boost their chances of survival.

Nadya Muchoney at the University of Nevada, Reno, and her colleagues wanted to examine the effect of diet on white peacock butterflies (Anartia jatrophae) – a large black and whitish butterfly species typically found in …

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