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Butterflies lose body fat during metamorphosis

cularly impressed with how the caterpillar concentrated these polyunsaturated fatty acids and then transferred them to the butterfly," says Connor. "The polyunsaturated fatty acids can act as precursor substances for prostaglandin and other ferments that may be very necessary in the health of both the larva and the butterfly and, in particular, the transformation during metamorphosis. The mantra is that every organism has a specific dietary pattern which is important for its maturation and survival. Human beings are much in the same category."

Hoping to build on these initial findings, Connor and his colleagues are planning on looking at the Monarch butterfly next. Monarch larva feed exclusively on milkweed, and Connor has already started growing milkweed and analyzing it for this purpose. "It has very high polyunsaturated fatty acid composition, much like the leaves in Belize which the Blue Morpho caterpillar feeds on," explains Connor.


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Source:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


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