Local butterflies develop taste for the exotic

The common birdwing butterfly. The NUS study found that this species is most abundant in Singapore's urban parks. PHOTO: GAN CHEONG WEEI
The common rose butterfly. Private gardens see the largest numbers of this species. PHOTO: GAN CHEONG WEEI
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SINGAPORE - Two butterfly species native to Singapore have developed a taste for a plant from elsewhere after their native host plant here went extinct, a new study has found.

The key finding of the study - that non-native plants may benefit native wildlife - is a departure from the prevailing paradigm that exotic species negatively affect the environment.

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