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Communal Roosting among Butterflies in the Lebanon

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The roosts observed are communal in the social sense of this word. Fourteen species of butterflies are involved and some of them, notably Agriodiaetus alcestis Zerny, occur in vast numbers. It is not possible to be certain of why this behaviour occurs, but one must assume that some sort of passive defensive advantage is involved. It could be a case of security in numbers; sleeping Lycaenidae, especially, are very conspicuous even from a distance, and agglomeration might render them inconspicuous by their very visibility.


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