Predatory and parasitic Lepidoptera: carnivores living on plants.
The life histories of predatory and parasitic lepidopteran taxa are summarized, with an emphasis on the Lycaenidae. An overview of predatory Lepidoptera is given, with reference to their phylogeny, the phylogenetic distribution of prey, degree of specialization, adaptations for consuming food other than plants and cannibalism. Carnivory in the Lycaenidae is discussed, including myrmecophagy in the genus Maculinea and predation in the Miletinae. The evolution of carnivory in the Lepidoptera is also outlined.