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The Evolution of Male Mate-Locating Behavior in Butterflies

Ronald L. Rutowski
The American Naturalist
Vol. 138, No. 5 (Nov., 1991), pp. 1121-1139
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2462511
Page Count: 19
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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.
The Evolution of Male Mate-Locating Behavior in Butterflies
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Abstract

Male butterflies display a diversity of mate-location tactics. This article describes the observed diversity in encounter-site locations and in the behavior of males at encounter sites and attempts to reveal the evolutionary patterns in this diversity by assessing the ecological correlates of various tactics. For species that pupate on the larval food plant and that feed on relatively large larval food plants, males focus their mate-locating efforts on the larval food plant. Otherwise, males use non-resource-based encounter sites such as hilltops or landmarks in the environment. The ecological correlates of the behavior of males at encounter sites are examined with respect to site tenacity, time of day when encounter sites are visited, the occurrence of site defense, and the behavior when waiting (perch or fly). The analysis suggests that these variables should be considered separately in that they may evolve independently. Currently, the data on butterfly mating systems are insufficient to draw strong conclusions about their evolution. However, the approach taken in this article will hopefully provide a useful framework for future research efforts.

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