Sensitive monsters need cattle
Photo Martin Sielezniew
Lovely blue butterflies are dying without the help of ants, which in turn can not live without cows and rabbits
As soon as there is in the vicinity, attracts attention. There will always be someone who will carry him home. And there turns out to be a nice guy dzieciożercą - within 10 months eats up to 300 infants, as none of the hosts did not respond. Then the parasite changes into a beautiful blue essence - a butterfly, which has long been an object of desire collectors. And they initially blamed for the decline in Blue Tit Arion (Maculinea arion) in Great Britain. Even in the nineteenth century, there were 91 posts this butterfly, and in 1950 doliczono now only 25 Taken early enough so as to protect the thermophilous grasslands planted thyme, Blue Tit females which lay eggs. Caterpillars, which are then hatched them, the first three weeks are herbivorous. Then fall to the ground and emit a sweet secretion that attracts ants of the genus wścieklica (Myrmica). Changing the caterpillars to the nest and leave them alone, without regard to their murderous habits. But the mastery in the art of manipulation arionom little help. Just as thermophilous grassland and fencing to prevent the butterfly collectors. In 1979 the British butterfly population perished.
Professor rozwikłał this riddle. Jeremy Thomas of the University of Oxford, and summarized its work in July 2009 in the weekly journal Science. Discovered that the Blue Tit Arion caterpillars were adopted primarily by two species of ants: wścieklica Sabuleta (Myrmica sabuleti) and wścieklica uszatka (Myrmica scabrinodis). Except that the slots of the first survival of larvae was 5.3 times greater! Modraszkom termagant is conducive to thermophilic. If the turf grasses grown too high, the soil is ochładzała M. sabuleti did in the cold, and its place occupied M. scabrinodis. Blue Tit for this conversion ended fatally - too little caterpillars experienced and shrinking population. Ariony could therefore live only where the turf was a low-shearing. Originally the work was simply engaged in a cow. When people accused cattle farming, the role of "lawn mowers" took over the rabbit, in turn, decimated by the epidemic myksomatozy. Replacements are found, if not over-zeal of environmentalists. Since the last place of residence fenced arionów, the pitch could not enter Zadni herbivores. Turf grown M. sabuleti be reached, and the extinct butterflies.
Professor Thomas has decided to translate its findings into action. Thermophilic grassland management introduced in the UK and regular trimming turf. When the ants are not returned to Mr sabuleti, brought ariony blue tits from the Swedish island of Öland. Butterflies quickly proliferated. Today it can already be encountered in nearly 30 locations. Professor Thomas proudly wrote: "Based on the results of the British carried out the work - successful, albeit on a smaller scale - in other countries."