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Intrasexual Selection Constrains the Evolution of the Dorsal Color Pattern of Male Black Swallowtail Butterflies, Papilio polyxenes

Robert C. Lederhouse and J. Mark Scriber
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 717-722
DOI: 10.2307/2410844
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410844
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Intrasexual Selection Constrains the Evolution of the Dorsal Color Pattern of Male Black Swallowtail Butterflies, Papilio polyxenes
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Abstract

Males of the eastern black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterius Stoll) with typical coloration were more successful in intrasexual competition for mating territories than were males altered to have female-like mimetic coloration. Sibling males were matched for wingspan and emergence date and released as pairs, one with its pattern altered and one a control that was marked but with unaltered appearance. Significantly fewer altered males were resighted one or more days after release compared with control males (33% vs. 76%, 1990; 46% vs. 83%, 1993). Altered males were less able to establish and maintain themselves in preferred territories. The inability of released, altered males to establish a territory appears related to significantly longer male-male encounters. Encounters involving at least one participant with altered appearance averaged 66 s compared with 24 s if neither male was altered. However, altering the coloration of P polyxenes males that already had established themselves in a territory had little effect. After courtships of similar duration (≈ 40 s), released virgin females were equally likely to mate with either altered or control males. This suggests that male-male intrasexual selection is of greater importance than female mate choice in maintaining a non-mimetic dorsal coloration in male P polyxenes.

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