The nymphalid groundplan has been proposed to explain diverse butterfly wing color patterns. In this model, each symmetry system is composed of a core element and a pair of paracore elements. The development of this elemental configuration has been explained by the induction model for positional information. However, the diversity of color patterns in other butterfly families in relation to the nymphalid groundplan has not been thoroughly examined. Here, we examined aberrant color pattern phenotypes of a lycaenid butterfly, Zizeeria maha, from mutagenesis and plasticity studies as well as from field surveys. In several mutants, the third and fourth spot arrays were coordinately positioned much closer to the discal spot in comparison to the normal phenotype. In temperature-shock types, the third and fourth array spots were elongated inwardly or outwardly from their normal positions. In field-caught spontaneous mutants, small black spots were located adjacent to normal black spots. Analysis of these aberrant phenotypes indicated that the spots belonging to the third and fourth arrays are synchronously changeable in position and shape around the discal spot. Thus, these arrays constitute paracore elements of the central symmetry system of the lycaenid butterflies, and the discal spot comprises the core element. These aberrant phenotypes can be explained by the black-inducing signals that propagate from the prospective discal spot, as predicted by the induction model. These results suggest the existence of long-range developmental signals that cover a large area of a wing not only in nymphalid butterflies, but also in lycaenid butterflies.
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Vol. 32 • No. 3