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Abstract This project investigates cycad herbivory from separate ecological and evolutionary perspectives. First, I report results of an ecological study of the interactions between the caterpillars Eumaeus minyas and E. debora (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) and their host cycads, Zamia loddigesii and Dioon edule (Cycadales: Zamiaceae), in an oak forest near Chavarrillo, central Veracruz, Mxico. I describe herbivory levels recorded over a two-year period. Second, I explore the association between herbivory (by caterpillars, weevils, and other insects) and the amount of azoxyglycosides (macrozamin and cycasin) in the Cycadales by using the phylogenetic independent contrasts technique.The azoxyglycosides may play an important ecological role as an antiherbivore defense.