Parasitic plant: Dodder (Cuscutta) Photo by BCGX via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) Biology Botany 

Parasitic Plant Has Edge in Evolutionary Arms Race

By Cameron Duke (@DukeofCam) The relationship between a parasite and its host can be a contentious one. Their interests are in direct conflict with one another, so each is always trying to circumvent the other’s plan. This is often thought of as an evolutionary “arms race.” In this ongoing competition, a parasite evolves a more efficient way to prey on the host, and the host adapts in response. These successive adaptations can lead to complex life cycles and intimate species-specific relationships.  New research out of Penn State, conducted by Michael…

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Life Cycle of a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Animals Biology Nature Photography 

Life Cycle of a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

By Yvi San Google+ The pipevine swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor, is a relatively small black swallowtail with gorgeous, iridescent blue scaling. It measures approximately 7–10 cm (2.75–4 in) from tip of wing to tip of wing. It is commonly found in the Deep South, but during the summer you can find it in the Southwest, including parts of California, and from Kansas to New York. Last year I planted woolly Dutchman’s pipevine, Aristolochia tomentosa, to attract this butterfly to my garden. I was rewarded at the beginning of summer with…

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