Malagasy birds as hosts for eye-frequenting moths

2007 | journal article

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​Malagasy birds as hosts for eye-frequenting moths​
Hilgartner, R.; Raoilison, M.; Büttiker, W.; Lees, D. C & Krenn, H. W​ (2007) 
Biology Letters3(2) pp. 117​-120​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0581 

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Authors
Hilgartner, Roland; Raoilison, Mamisolo; Büttiker, Willhelm; Lees, David C; Krenn, Harald W
Abstract
While tear-feeding in moths on mammals is widespread, there have been no reports of this behaviour in Madagascar and none on birds. We report that a moth, Hemiceratoides hieroglyphica belonging to the Calpini, a generally fruit-feeding or blood-feeding lineage of noctuids, attacks sleeping birds in Madagascar. This moth is able to intrude its sharply tipped proboscis into a closed bird's eye. The proboscis is characterized by a specific armoury of hooks, barbs and spines similar to that in piercing calpines but dissimilar to that in other tear-feeding moths. This is the first report of exploitation of tears by Lepidoptera from the closed eyes of sleeping birds.
Issue Date
2007
Journal
Biology Letters 
Organization
Deutsches Primatenzentrum 
ISSN
1744-9561
eISSN
1744-957X
Language
English

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