Translator Disclaimer
1 January 2005 CONSTRAINED CAMOUFLAGE FACILITATES THE EVOLUTION OF CONSPICUOUS WARNING COLORATION
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The initial evolution of aposematic and mimetic antipredator signals is thought to be paradoxical because such coloration is expected to increase the risk of predation before reaching a stage when predators associate it effectively with a defense. We propose, however, that constraints associated with the alternative strategy, cryptic coloration, may facilitate the evolution of antipredator signals and thus provide a solution for the apparent paradox. We tested this hypothesis first using an evolutionary simulation to study the effect of a constraint due to habitat heterogeneity, and second using a phylogenetic comparison of the Lepidoptera to investigate the effect of a constraint due to prey motility. In the evolutionary simulation, antipredator warning coloration had an increased probability to invade the prey population when the evolution of camouflage was constrained by visual difference between microhabitats. The comparative study was done between day-active lepidopteran taxa, in which camouflage is constrained by motility, and night-active taxa, which rest during the day and are thus able to rely on camouflage. We compared each of seven phylogenetically independent day-active groups with a closely related nocturnal group and found that antipredator signals have evolved at least once in all the diurnal groups but in none of their nocturnal matches. Both studies lend support to our idea that constraints on crypsis may favor the evolution of antipredator warning signals.

Sami Merilaita and Birgitta S. Tullberg "CONSTRAINED CAMOUFLAGE FACILITATES THE EVOLUTION OF CONSPICUOUS WARNING COLORATION," Evolution 59(1), 38-45, (1 January 2005). https://doi.org/10.1554/04-410
Received: 1 July 2004; Accepted: 3 November 2004; Published: 1 January 2005
JOURNAL ARTICLE
8 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top