A within-species warning function for an aposematic signal

Daniel R Papaj, Ginny M. Newsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aposematic, or warning, signals are generally interspecific in form: one species advertises noxiousness to a predator or parasite species. In a study of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor), we show that a pattern of colouration in the caterpillars that is considered to be aposematic in the context of attack by natural enemies also deters oviposition by conspecific females. In field and laboratory assays, females avoided oviposition on plants bearing live conspecific larvae. Females avoided oviposition on plants bearing artificially constructed models identical to larvae in shape, size and colour pattern. Finally, oviposition on plants harbouring a model bearing the larval colour pattern was reduced relative to plants bearing a leaf-green model, suggesting that the larval colour pattern was essential for avoidance. We discuss how intraspecific and interspecific processes might interact in the evolution of an aposematic signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2519-2523
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume272
Issue number1580
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 2005

Fingerprint

Bearings (structural)
Oviposition
oviposition
Battus philenor
Color
color
Larva
larva
Papilionidae
Butterflies
larvae
caterpillar
natural enemy
butterfly
natural enemies
insect larvae
Assays
parasite
Parasites
assay

Keywords

  • Aposematism
  • Crypsis
  • Host-marking behaviour
  • Oviposition
  • Predator avoidance
  • Warning colouration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

A within-species warning function for an aposematic signal. / Papaj, Daniel R; Newsom, Ginny M.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 272, No. 1580, 07.12.2005, p. 2519-2523.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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