Sloth moth - Wikipedia
We discovered that sloths consumed algae from their fur, which was highly digestible and lipid-rich. By descending a tree to defecate, sloths transport moths to. Mar 22, Sloths are famous for their exceptionally slow motor skills and petite . But this three-way mutualistic relationship among sloths, moths and. Mar 12, This month's mutualism is the relationship between the brown-throated three- toed sloth Bradypus variegatus, a group of moths, and some.
Yet another great example of the wonders of the natural world. Post script Although not as exotic as the sloth moth, we in the UK can also lay claim to a coprophagous moth, Aglossa pinguinalis, the Large Tabby which feeds on, among other things, sheep dung.
In Spain it is recorded as a cave dweller feeding almost entirely on animal dung, apparently not being too fussy as to the source.
Acta Amazonica, 12, Quarterly Review of Biology, 11, Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 9, Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 10, Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 14, Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 34, The Florida Entomologist, 64, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Journal of Zoology London, In order to maintain this lifestyle sloth metabolism has slowed down to such a rate that they require only half the expected calories of a mammal of similar size.
Two sloth moths crawling on a brown-throated three-toed sloth.
Adult moths live out their entire lives within the sloth's fur. Photo courtesy of flickr. The sloths are relatively safe within the tree canopy, but once a week the three-toed sloth must come down from the tree tops to defecate.
This is a risky move, opening the sloth up to forest floor predators such as jaguars.
Sloth Moths – moving faster than their hosts | Don't Forget the Roundabouts
So why does the sloth do it, why not just let it rip in the canopy? Photo courtesy of darnis. Sloth fur harbors a diverse ecosystem of insects and algae including some species which are exclusively found in sloth fur.
When the sloth climbs down for its weekly defecation female moths fly out from the fur and lay their eggs in the fresh sloth dung.