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Butterfly Eyespots: The Genetics and Development of the Color Rings
Antónia Monteiro, Paul M. Brakefield and Vernon French
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Aug., 1997), pp. 1207-1216
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411050
Page Count: 10
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The butterfly Bicyclus anynana has a series of distal eyespots on its wings. Each eyespot is composed of a white pupil, a black disc, and a gold outer ring. We applied artificial selection to the large dorsal eyespot on the forewing to produce a line with the gold ring reduced or absent (BLACK) and another line with a reduced black disc and a broad gold ring (GOLD). High heritabilities, coupled with a rapid response to selection, produced two lines of butterflies with very different phenotypes. Other eyespots showed a correlated change in the proportion of their color rings. Surgical experiments were performed on pupal wings from the different lines at the time of eyespot pattern specification. They showed that the additive genetic variance for this trait was in the response of the wing epidermis to signaling from the organizing cells at the eyespot center (the focus). This response was found to vary across different regions of the wing and also between the sexes. The particular eyespot color composition found for each sex, as well as the maintenance of the high genetic variation, are discussed with reference to the ecology of the butterfly, sexual selection, and visual selection by predators.
Evolution © 1997 Society for the Study of Evolution