Biased predation could promote convergence yet maintain diversity within Mullerian mimicry rings of Oreina leaf beetles

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320655

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Kikuchi , D W , Waldron , S J , Valkonen , J K , Dobler , S & Mappes , J 2020 , ' Biased predation could promote convergence yet maintain diversity within Mullerian mimicry rings of Oreina leaf beetles ' , Journal of Evolutionary Biology , vol. 33 , no. 7 , pp. 887-898 . https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13620

Title: Biased predation could promote convergence yet maintain diversity within Mullerian mimicry rings of Oreina leaf beetles
Author: Kikuchi, David W.; Waldron, Samuel J.; Valkonen, Janne K.; Dobler, Susanne; Mappes, Johanna
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
Date: 2020-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
ISSN: 1010-061X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320655
Abstract: Mullerian mimicry is a classic example of adaptation, yet Muller's original theory does not account for the diversity often observed in mimicry rings. Here, we aimed to assess how well classical Mullerian mimicry can account for the colour polymorphism found in chemically defended Oreina leaf beetles by using field data and laboratory assays of predator behaviour. We also evaluated the hypothesis that thermoregulation can explain diversity between Oreina mimicry rings. We found that frequencies of each colour morph were positively correlated among species, a critical prediction of Mullerian mimicry. Predators learned to associate colour with chemical defences. Learned avoidance of the green morph of one species protected green morphs of another species. Avoidance of blue morphs was completely generalized to green morphs, but surprisingly, avoidance of green morphs was less generalized to blue morphs. This asymmetrical generalization should favour green morphs: indeed, green morphs persist in blue communities, whereas blue morphs are entirely excluded from green communities. We did not find a correlation between elevation and coloration, rejecting thermoregulation as an explanation for diversity between mimicry rings. Biased predation could explain within-community diversity in warning coloration, providing a solution to a long-standing puzzle. We propose testable hypotheses for why asymmetric generalization occurs, and how predators maintain the predominance of blue morphs in a community, despite asymmetric generalization.
Subject: aposematism
colour polymorphism
convergent evolution
warning signal
FREQUENCY-DEPENDENT SELECTION
WARNING COLORATION
PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS
PHYLOGENETIC EVIDENCE
CHEMICAL DEFENSE
SHIFTING BALANCE
EVOLUTION
AVOIDANCE
PATTERN
PREY
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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