Erica L. Westerman

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Early acquisition of mate preferences or mate-preference learning is associated with signal diversity and speciation in a wide variety of animal species. However, the diversity of mechanisms of mate-preference learning across taxa remains poorly understood. Using the butterfly Bicyclus anynana we uncover a mechanism that can lead to directional sexual(More)
Fixed, genetically determined, mate preferences for species whose adult phenotype varies with rearing environment may be maladaptive, as the phenotype that is most fit in the parental environment may be absent in the offspring environment. Mate preference in species with polyphenisms (environmentally dependent alternative phenotypes) should therefore either(More)
Transitory fusion is an allorecognition phenotype displayed by the colonial hydroid Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus when interacting colonies share some, but not all, loci within the allorecognition gene complex (ARC). The phenotype is characterized by an initial fusion followed by subsequent cell death resulting in separation of the two incompatible(More)
Studies on insect melanism have greatly contributed to our understanding of natural selection and the ultimate factors influencing the evolution of darkly pigmented phenotypes. Research on several species of melanic lepidopteran larvae have found that low levels of circulating juvenile hormone (JH) titers are associated with a melanic phenotype, suggesting(More)
Reproduction is often more costly to females than it is to males, leading to the evolution of ornamented or competitive males and choosy females. Reproduction costs to females, however, can be reduced through nuptial gifts provided by males. These gifts, by increasing female survival or fecundity, can promote the evolution of mutual mate choice,(More)
Rearing environment can have an impact on adult behavior, but it is less clear how rearing environment influences adult behavior plasticity. Here we explore the effect of rearing temperature on adult mating behavior plasticity in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, a species that has evolved two seasonal forms in response to seasonal changes in temperature.(More)
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