Caterpillars won't vomit in public
CATERPILLARS which vomit on their predators to defend themselves are less likely to do so in company.
That's according the latest study by the University of Bristol – the same institution that looked at why cornflakes go soggy in milk.
The socially-conscious caterpillars in question are of the large white butterfly or Pieris Brassicae.
They protect themselves from attack by regurgitating acidic green fluid on their predators.
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The study, published in Ecology Letters, has found that when the competing caterpillars are in a group they often leave it up to someone else to come to the rescue.
Dr Andrew Higgson, of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences, said: "This study helps us to better understand the defences of many caterpillars and similar insects, several of whom are important crop pests.
"It will ultimately help in the design of more sustainable methods for reducing crop losses experienced by farmers."