An association between the butterfly Talicada nyseus and the lichen Leproloma sipmanianum as evidenced from chemical studies

Veranja Karunaratne, University of Peradeniya
Karunananda Bombuwela, University of Peradeniya
Selvaluxmy Kathirgamanathar, University of Peradeniya
Vijaya Kumar, University of Peradeniya
D. Nedra Karunaratne
K. B. Ranawana, University of Peradeniya
D. S.A. Wijesundara
Aruna Weerasooriya
E. D. De Silva, University of Colombo


Lichens produce a variety of lichen products having a wide range of biological activities. Not surprisingly, it has been found that snails and some insects, particularly moths (Lepidoptera) of the family Arctiidae use lichen phenolics for defence purposes. On the other hand, members of the butterfly family, Lycaenidae (e.g. Talicada nyseus) are considered plant feeders. Monarch butterflies (Nymphalidae) accumulate toxic cardiac glycosides in milkweeds, which are used by the adults to deter predators. In this communication we report the occurrence of common lichen products, including phenolics in the butterfly T. nyseus.