Title

Locomotor mimicry among unpalatable butterflies

Poster Number

32

Lead Author Major

Bioengineering

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Ryan Hill

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Predation is an important ecological interaction among species that involves strong selection to shape species phenotypes. Color pattern phenotypes may be adapted to reduce predation through crypsis, blending into the environment, or by being brightly colored and advertising that they are defended, using warning coloration. Mimicry is when multiple species evolve to use the same warning/advertising signals, and closely resemble one another. In some cases an undefended prey mimics a defended prey species and this is called Batesian mimicry. By imitating a defended species that predators have learned to avoid, the undefended prey has an increased chance of survival. In other cases, multiple defended species resemble one another, which is called Mullerian mimicry. By imitating the same signal, there is a reduction in the number of prey consumed to train the predators. Research with predators indicates that when choosing prey they pay attention to not only color pattern, but behavior as well. This predicts that mimetic species should converge in not only color pattern, but also non-color pattern morphology and behavior, such as flight morphology and kinematics. Studies have confirmed this in a couple species, but behavioral mimicry in morphological and kinematics is generally understudied. Previous work in our lab focused on a community in the Amazon basin composed of over 60 species involved in Mullerian mimicry. This work analyzed males and females separately and found that morphology converged among mimicry complexes. In addition, males were similar in flight, with wing beat frequency converging among mimicry complexes, however females were not tested. Here we investigate the flight kinematics in female ithomiine butterfly species from a single community to test whether they converge among mimicry complexes.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

30-4-2016 1:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2016 3:30 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:30 AM Apr 30th, 3:30 PM

Locomotor mimicry among unpalatable butterflies

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Predation is an important ecological interaction among species that involves strong selection to shape species phenotypes. Color pattern phenotypes may be adapted to reduce predation through crypsis, blending into the environment, or by being brightly colored and advertising that they are defended, using warning coloration. Mimicry is when multiple species evolve to use the same warning/advertising signals, and closely resemble one another. In some cases an undefended prey mimics a defended prey species and this is called Batesian mimicry. By imitating a defended species that predators have learned to avoid, the undefended prey has an increased chance of survival. In other cases, multiple defended species resemble one another, which is called Mullerian mimicry. By imitating the same signal, there is a reduction in the number of prey consumed to train the predators. Research with predators indicates that when choosing prey they pay attention to not only color pattern, but behavior as well. This predicts that mimetic species should converge in not only color pattern, but also non-color pattern morphology and behavior, such as flight morphology and kinematics. Studies have confirmed this in a couple species, but behavioral mimicry in morphological and kinematics is generally understudied. Previous work in our lab focused on a community in the Amazon basin composed of over 60 species involved in Mullerian mimicry. This work analyzed males and females separately and found that morphology converged among mimicry complexes. In addition, males were similar in flight, with wing beat frequency converging among mimicry complexes, however females were not tested. Here we investigate the flight kinematics in female ithomiine butterfly species from a single community to test whether they converge among mimicry complexes.