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Questions: Does herbivores' diet per se affect their immunocompetence? Do other fitness measures vary accordingly? Can the observed differences be explained by the chemical composition of the diets? Organisms: Full-sib families of Parasemia plantaginis (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Methods: We reared larvae in laboratory on five different diets. We tested the(More)
Inexperienced predators are assumed to select for similarity of warning signals in aposematic species (Müllerian mimicry) when learning to avoid them. Recent theoretical work predicts that if co-mimic species have unequal defences, predators attack them according to their average unpalatability and mimicry may not be beneficial for the better defended(More)
Both Batesian and Müllerian mimicries are considered classical evidence of natural selection where predation pressure has, at times, created a striking similarity between unrelated prey species. Batesian mimicry, in which palatable mimics resemble unpalatable aposematic species, is parasitic and only beneficial to the mimics. By contrast, in classical(More)
The evolution of aposematism, a phenomenon where prey species conspicuously advertise their unprofitability to predators, is puzzling. How did conspicuousness evolve, if it simultaneously increased the likelihood of an inexperienced predator to detect the prey and presumably kill it? Antiapostatic selection, where rare prey is predated relatively more(More)
The butterfly Bicyclus anynana exhibits phenotypic plasticity involving the wet-season phenotype, which possesses marginal eyespots on the ventral surface of the wings, and the dry-season form, which lacks these eyespots. We examined the adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity of B. anynana in relation to the defence mechanisms of crypsis and deflection. We(More)
In the first clear mathematical treatment of natural selection, Müller proposed that a shared warning signal (mimicry) would benefit defended prey species by sharing out the per capita mortality incurred during predator education. Although mimicry is a mainstay of adaptationist thinking, there has been repeated debate on whether there is a mutualistic or a(More)
Understanding the early evolution of aposematic (warning) coloration has been a challenge for scientists, as a new conspicuous morph in a population of cryptic insects would have a high predation risk and would probably die out before local predators learnt to avoid it. Fisher presented the idea of aggregation benefit through the survival of related(More)
Müllerian mimicry, where unpalatable prey share common warning patterns, has long fascinated evolutionary biologists. It is commonly assumed that Müllerian mimics benefit by sharing the costs of predator education, thus reducing per capita mortality, although there has been no direct test of this assumption. Here, we specifically measure the selection(More)
Evolution of conspicuous signals may be constrained if animal coloration has nonsignaling as well as signaling functions. In aposematic wood tiger moth (Parasemia plantaginis) larvae, the size of a warning signal (orange patch on black body) varies phenotypically and genetically. Although a large warning signal is favored as an antipredator defense, we(More)
Unpalatable insects frequently adopt multimodal signals to ward off predators, incorporating sounds and odours into their colourful displays. Pyrazine is an odour commonly used in insect warning displays, and has previously been shown to elicit unlearned biases against common warning colours, e.g. yellow and red in naive predators. We designed two(More)