Apr 9, 2020

Geographic mosaic of selection by avian predators on hindwing warning colour in a polymorphic aposematic moth

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Katja H RönkäJohanna Mappes


Warning signals are predicted to develop signal monomorphism via positive frequency-dependent selection (+FDS) albeit many aposematic systems exhibit signal polymorphism. To understand this mismatch, we conducted a large-scale predation experiment in four locations, among which the frequencies of hindwing warning coloration of aposematic Arctia plantaginis differ. Here we show that selection by avian predators on warning colour is predicted by local morph frequency and predator community composition. We found +FDS to be strongest in monomorphic Scotland, and in contrast, lowest in polymorphic Finland, where different predators favour different male morphs. +FDS was also found in Georgia, where the predator community was the least diverse, whereas in the most diverse avian community in Estonia, hardly any models were attacked. Our results support the idea that spatial variation in predator and prey communities alters the strength or direction of selection on warning signals, thus facilitating a geographic mosaic of selection.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Determination Aspects
Anatomic Bifurcation
Base Pairing

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