Document Detail

Constrained camouflage facilitates the evolution of conspicuous warning coloration.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15792225     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The initial evolution of aposematic and mimetic antipredator signals is thought to be paradoxical because such coloration is expected to increase the risk of predation before reaching a stage when predators associate it effectively with a defense. We propose, however, that constraints associated with the alternative strategy, cryptic coloration, may facilitate the evolution of antipredator signals and thus provide a solution for the apparent paradox. We tested this hypothesis first using an evolutionary simulation to study the effect of a constraint due to habitat heterogeneity, and second using a phylogenetic comparison of the Lepidoptera to investigate the effect of a constraint due to prey motility. In the evolutionary simulation, antipredator warning coloration had an increased probability to invade the prey population when the evolution of camouflage was constrained by visual difference between microhabitats. The comparative study was done between day-active lepidopteran taxa, in which camouflage is constrained by motility, and night-active taxa, which rest during the day and are thus able to rely on camouflage. We compared each of seven phylogenetically independent day-active groups with a closely related nocturnal group and found that antipredator signals have evolved at least once in all the diurnal groups but in none of their nocturnal matches. Both studies lend support to our idea that constraints on crypsis may favor the evolution of antipredator warning signals.
Sami Merilaita; Birgitta S Tullberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution; international journal of organic evolution     Volume:  59     ISSN:  0014-3820     ISO Abbreviation:  Evolution     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-03-28     Completed Date:  2005-12-28     Revised Date:  2008-06-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373224     Medline TA:  Evolution     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  38-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Circadian Rhythm
Computer Simulation
Lepidoptera / genetics,  physiology*
Models, Genetic*
Neural Networks (Computer)
Pigmentation* / genetics
Predatory Behavior / physiology*

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