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Maintaining mimicry diversity : optimal warning colour patterns differ among microhabitats in Amazonian clearwing butterflies [Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences]

Keywords : adaptation, anti-predator defence, Müllerian mimicry, niche

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Mimicry is one of the best-studied examples of adaptation, and recent studies have provided new insights into the role of mimicry in speciation and diversification. Classical Müllerian mimicry theory predicts convergence in warning signal among protected species, yet tropical butterflies are exuberantly diverse in warning colour patterns, even within communities. We tested the hypothesis that microhabitat partitioning in aposematic butterflies and insectivorous birds can lead to selection for different colour patterns in different microhabitats and thus help maintain mimicry diversity.(...)

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