Wednesday, August 9, 1:30-5:00 pm
COS 72 - Prey preference and prey defense mechanisms
Plantation Room, Cook Convention Center
Presiders: G Wang and S Raghu

Icons and upstarts in butterfly mimicry.

Ritland, David*,1, 1 Erskine College, Due West, SC

ABSTRACT- Ritland and Brower's provocatively titled "The Viceroy Is Not a Batesian Mimic" referred to predicted contemporary ecological mimicry roles of viceroy (Limenitis archippus), monarch (Danaus plexippus), and queen (D. gilippus) butterflies in the populations studied. Moderately unpalatable viceroys contribute to predator learning, reinforcing learning based on previous experience with monarchs or queens, and thus creating a relationship more akin to mutualistic Mullerian than to parasitic Batesian mimicry. The timeframe for acquisition of unpalatability by viceroys is not known, but I speculate that in evolutionary terms, the viceroy initially evolved as a Batesian mimic of danaine models. The considerable divergence of viceroy (but not danaine) phenotype from sister taxa, the existence of other mimetic species in the Limenitis lineage, and the exactness of the viceroy's mimicry support this view. I propose that viceroys have enhanced their storage and/or synthesis of defensive chemicals relatively recently due to hostplant shifts and concomitant decreases in unpalatability of their long-time models, monarchs and queens.

Key words: mimicry, predator/prey, Lepidoptera

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