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Spatial and temporal dynamics of Batesian mimicry between Adelpha californica and Limenitis lorquini
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.)
Ryan I. Hill
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Conspicuous coloration is one of the main ways that animals communicate. The use of eye-catching color patterns to warn predators of an unprofitable trait is referred to as aposematism. Once predators learn to recognize the color pattern, a new signaling niche becomes available where other species can share the same signal. This mimicry niche can involve a “hide in plain sight” strategy by mimicking or parasitizing this signal, with mimics lacking the defense and associated costs that make them unprofitable. This is termed Batesian mimicry, and it decreases predation by taking advantage of the memory and learning of the predator community. Thus, a primary prediction in Batesian mimicry systems is that the model and mimic are found in sympatry. Another, fundamental prediction of Batesian mimicry is that the model outnumbers the mimic and that models emerge before the mimics to educate the predator guild. Some of these patterns were not significant in the California Coast Ranges as seen in Long et al., (2015), and no study has estimated population sizes for this temperate Batesian mimicry system. Furthermore, compared with community studies of mutualistic Müllerian mimicry in the tropics, no studies have tested predictions of parasitic Batesian mimicry on small scale patterns of habitat use and movement patterns. If mimicry is as an important part of the biology of these temperate species, as it is for their tropical counterparts, we predict that in addition to emerging first and being more abundant, the model and mimic will overlap strongly in habitat but the model will be more abundant in each habitat, and will move more and be more widespread among available habitats. Our results confirm these predictions and indicate that A. californica is effectively educating habitat specialist and generalist predators providing an umbrella of protection for the mimic L. lorquini.
Prusa, Louis Albert. (2018). Spatial and temporal dynamics of Batesian mimicry between Adelpha californica and Limenitis lorquini. University of the Pacific, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/3133