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Title: Early origin and diverse phenotypic implementation of iridescent UV patterns for sexual signaling in pierid butterflies

Iridescent ultraviolet (IUV) patterns on pierid butterfly wings are phenotypic adaptations commonly used as sexual signals, generated by scales with ultrastructural modifications. Pierid IUV patterns are sexually dichromatic, with reduced size in females, where conspicuous sexual signaling balances courtship against ecological predation. There have been no phylogenetic reconstructions of IUV within Pieridae and little morphological characterization of phenotypic diversity. Our genus-wide characterization of IUV revealed the uniform similarity of stacked lamellar ridges on the dorsal surface of cover scales. We tested a hypothesis of single versus multiple origins by reconstructing a phylogeny of 534 species (~43.2% described species), with all genera represented, and a trait matrix of 734 species (~59.4%) screened for IUV. A single, early dimorphic origin of IUV followed by several losses and gains received strong support, concluding that IUV patterns and structural coloration are old traits. Collectively, these results support the homology of IUV scales and patterns that diversified within several lineages, suggesting an interplay between female-mediated sexual selection and ecological predatory selection.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Foitzik, Susanne; Zelditch, Miriam
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Page Range / eLocation ID:
2619 to 2630
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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