Evol Ecol Res 1: 875-894 (1999) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Evolutionary genetics of seasonal polyphenism in the map butterfly Araschnia levana (Nymphalidae: Lepidoptera)
Jack J. Windig1,2
and Pascal Lammar2
1Department of Zoology, University of Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden and 2Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium
Address all correspondence to Jack J. Windig, ID-Lelystad, Institute for Animal Science and Health, Department of Genetics and Reproduction, PO Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands.
Araschnia levana shows two spectacularly different seasonal forms: a predominantly orange spring form with black dots and a predominantly black summer form with a white band. The forms are induced by length of day. We quantified differences in wing pattern between the forms and sexes with the help of image analysis. We used a split family design to analyse the genetic background. Each wing pattern element responded in its own way to length of day. Heritabilities within forms were generally high. Genetic correlations across lengths of day, between forms, ranged from around 0 to around 1. Wing pattern may thus rapidly respond to natural selection, but this response is for some traits not independent from selection in the other form. The overall heritability for producing a spring or summer form in an environment where both forms were produced was very high. There was a tight relationship between the length of the 5th larval instar and the adult form produced. We discuss a physiological model which can explain this relationship, and which has some interesting implications for the debate on whether genes for plasticity exist. The overall results are discussed in the light of West-Eberhard’s theory of polyphenism as a first step towards speciation.
Keywords: morphometrics, phenotypic plasticity, quantitative genetics, speciation.
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