Apharitis cilissa - Levantine Silverline
a rare and endangered butterfly in Israel, active in the end of spring to early summer.
this butterfly has a very special collaboration with ants (as several other species of this family) - the female lays the egg close to an ant-trail. the ants collect the egg to their nest, and tend to the caterpillars - getting them food and protecting them from predators. in return, the caterpillar is secreting honeydew - and the ants eat it. when time comes, the caterpillar turns to cocoon, and the ants pass the cocoons closer to the nests' exit. when the butterfly emerges, it will crawl out of the ants nest and to the open air.