Butterflies Adaptation And Evolution Processes:
A new study has thrown light on many interesting aspects of butterflies’ adaptation and evolution processes.
- The study was conducted on several species of butterflies and their imitative traits in the Western Ghats in Karnataka.
Highlights of the Study:
The findings were categorised into three:
- Model Species: Those that are toxic to predators.
- Batesian Mimicry Species: Those that evolved traits of unpalatable species (poisonous) to avoid predators.
- Non-mimetic Species: Those that are closely related to Batesian mimics but did not evolve mimicry trait.
- The unpalatable one is called models and the palatable one is called mimics.
- Butterflies that have evolved to make use of mimicry evolve faster than the species that don’t make use of mimicry.
- Batesian mimics adapt to avoiding predators by evolving similar wing colour patterns and flight behaviours.
- Analyses revealed that not only had colour patterns evolved at a much faster rate, but that members of mimetic communities had evolved at a faster rate than their close relatives.
- Butterflies exhibit a wide range of colours and colour patterns, suggesting that the genetic architecture underlying wing patterns and colour pigments are relatively malleable and susceptible to change.