Publications

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    KAURI MIKKOLA, MARKUS J. RANTALA
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    ABSTRACT: It is generally believed that industrial melanism in Lepidoptera is mainly caused by differential predation by birds. In polluted areas, melanic individuals are favoured by natural selection because they are better camouflaged than pale moths on lichen-free and sooty tree trunks. In this article, we show that, in the black arches moth (Lymantria monacha), melanic morphs have a stronger encapsulation response than pale morphs against nylon monofilament implants. This indicates that the melanic and pale morphs differ in the strength of their immune defence. The same chemical precursors and their end product, melanin pigment, are involved in the encapsulation response and in the external coloration. Thus, it seems that there may be two possible, not mutually exclusive, explanations for the frequency changes observed in the industrial melanism of moths. The dominant gene causes an increase in the amount of melanin pigment and its precursors. This increase causes two changes: an intensified immune defence as a form of improved encapsulation ability of foreign objects, and the well-known protective dark coloration (a case of relational pleiotropy). It seems possible that industrial melanism is a by-product of selection on the strength of immunity. In the field, these pleiotropic aspects are exceedingly difficult to distinguish from each other, and the factors may even be compensatory. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 99, 831–838.
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 03/2010; 99(4):831 - 838. · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • KAURI MIKKOLA, MARTIN R. HONEY
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    ABSTRACT: Linnaeus described 166 nominal species of Noctuoidea, of which 144 (86.7%) are currently used as valid names, 18 are synonyms, one is a homonym and three taxa remain unknown. Seven taxa were described solely from illustrations in contemporary literature. Lectotypes are designated for 139 (87.4%) of the 159 remaining taxa, 122 of them from the Linnaean collection in London, 13 from the Queen Ludovica Ulrica's collection in Uppsala, Sweden, and four from other contemporary collections.Two Linnaean senior synonyms are introduced: Hada plebejacomb. nov. (Linnaeus, 1761) for the current H. nana (Hufnagel, 1766) and Oeonistis altica (Linnaeus, 1768) comb. nov. for Oe. entella (Cramer, 1779). Erebus occiduus (Linnaeus, 1758) syn. nov. is a junior subjective synonym of E. crepuscularis (Linnaeus, 1758); L. marmorides (Cramer, 1775) Stat. rev. should be reinstated for Letis occidua auct.In two species pairs the Linnaean names have been interpreted incorrectly. The lectotype designation of Phalaena prasinana Linnaeus, 1758, by Lempke (1947) is invalid because the specimen is not syntypic. According to the new lectotype, Pseudoips prasinanus (Linnaeus, 1758) comb. nov. replaces P. faganus (Fabricius, 1781), and Bena bicolorana (Fuessly, 1775) comb. nov. is available for the other species. Abrostola triplasia (Linnaeus, 1758) Stat. rev. replaces A. trigemina (Werneburg, 1864), and for the other species A. triparlila (Hufnagel, 1766) should be reinstated. One neotype designation [Eilema complanum (Linnaeus, 1758)], one lectotype designation [Xylena exsolela (Linnaeus, 1758)], and precedence of a junior synonym [Ophideres fullonia (Clerck, 1764)] over its unused senior synonym are to be referred to the ICZN; until their decision the current usage must be followed. The identity of Mesapamea secalis (Linnaeus, 1758) stat. rev. corresponds to current usage, but, under presence of syntypic material, the recent neotype designation by Lempke (1988) will be referred to the ICZN.The revision is mainly based on the discovery that the insect pins and the way specimens are prepared give evidence of the authenticity of the material. Contrary to the views of earlier authors, Linnaeus had his labels with the specific name pinned against the bottom of the drawers by the specimen pin. Because the labels have been moved twice during subsequent curations, their present position is less indicative of the authenticity than has been previously suggested. The origin of the so-called n-labels is discussed.
    Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 05/2008; 108(2):103 - 169. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • KAURI MIKKOLA
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    ABSTRACT: Melanic and typical morphs of Biston betularius (L.), Oligia latruncula (D. & S.) and 0. strigilis (L.) made choices between vertical trunks and horizontal branches, sprayed with white and black paints, in a transparent plastic cylinder in natural illumination. The moths settled in exposed positions. In neither Biston nor Oligia did the choice for white/black backgrounds differ between the morphs. Biston moths settle on narrow branches (not on twigs) with the body at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the branch. The Oligias showed an asymmetrical light reaction: one eye is kept in shadow so that they settle as a continuation of an irregularity of the surface, often of a lichen.In nature, Biston betularius probably rests high up in the canopies, on the under surfaces of horizontal branches. The visual selection acting on the morphs is expected to be less intensive than that measured on tree trunks. The mark-release-recapture results of Kettlewell (1955a, 1956) do not show any qualitative change during the self-determination of the moths but the material is too limited for firm conclusions.Newly-hatched Biston males take off straight from the trunk where they have expanded their wings but the females may climb higher in the tree. A hypothesis is presented to explain the black-and-white coloration of f. carbonaria: the short-winged moths climbing up the trunks might deter bird predation.
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 01/2008; 21(4):409 - 421. · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • KAURI MIKKOLA
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    ABSTRACT: Fifty of the fifty-six species of the genus Apamea known from North America and three Palaearctic species were analysed for lock-and-key characters in their internal genitalia, mainly in the male vesica and the female bursa copulatrix. There were an average of 4.5 such characters per species, structurally corresponding in the two sexes. Anatomically they form a postcopulatory but prezygotic isolation mechanism. In some closely related species, the internal genitalia are very similar, but these species have a precopulatory isolation mechanism in the presence or absence of male abdominal coremata. Closely related species did not have more lock-and-key characters than unrelated species, which is taken to indicate absence of character displacement. The anatomical distribution of the lock-and-key characters was examined and the organs of eight species are illustrated.The lock-and-key hypothesis has been abandoned by several earlier authors but mainly on consideration of external genitalia. In Apamea the invariable functional correspondence between sexes in the sperm transferring organs, and the overall species-specifity of characters but non-existence of interspecific differences under a precopulatory mechanism indicate that (a) lock-and-keys are functioning and (b) they act as isolation mechanisms. Alternative hypotheses of genitalic evolution are reviewed.
    Systematic Entomology 01/2008; 17(2):145 - 153. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    Mikkola K
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    ABSTRACT: During the last decades of the 20th century, a new step to the traditional way of preparing lepidopteran microscope slides was widely adopted, the technique of inflating and fixing the soft parts of internal genitalia. The taxonomic resolution in revising problematic species groups, particularly allopatric relationships, improved considerably. At the same time, the so-called lock-and-key hypothesis has been revived, since usually the sexes show corresponding structural details in their internal genitalia. On the basis of intercontinental studies on the Noctuidae, it is considered that the divergence of internal genitalia in pairs of sister species is based on genetic drift. The history of the eversion technique is revised.
    SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología. 01/2007;
  • J. D. Lafontaine, K. Mikkola
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    ABSTRACT: The North American species previously treated as Xanthia togata (Esper) is shown to be a distinct species and described as new. Illustrations of adults and genitalia of X. togata and Xanthia tatago are provided.
    The Canadian Entomologist 01/2003; 135(4):549-554. · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The restricted animal communities of the high Arctic islands are due, in part, to extreme geographical isolation. Migration via wind currents is one mechanism by which invasion of new species may occur. Here, we describe immigration of the non-resident migratory moth, Plutella xylostella, into Svalbard during 2000. This was associated with a warm south-easterly air mass that crossed from W. Russia: moths appear to have covered the 800 km to Svalbard in under 48 h, flying at an altitude between 500 and 1500 m. These events thus provide a case study for wind-dispersed movements of invertebrates to high Arctic regions. Climate change scenarios predict increased frequency of such air masses and also of the warm dry weather associated with increased aerial insect transport. The general factors determining successful colonization of the high Arctic by wind-dispersed animals are discussed, using P. xylostella as a model species whose important life history and physiological attributes are well known.
    Diversity and Distributions 10/2002; 8(6):327 - 334. · 6.12 Impact Factor
  • KAURI MIKKOLA
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    ABSTRACT: Seven species are included in the genus Xylomoia Staudinger, two of which are new: X. retinax sp.n. from the Novosibirsk area, Western Siberia, and from the Chelyabinsk area, southern Ural Mountains, and X. stangelmaieri sp.n. from Caorle, Venezia Giulia, on the Adriatic coast. A North American species, Chortodes didonea (Smith) comb.n., is removed from the genus. According to a cladistic analysis, the genus Xylomoia comprises one plesiomorphic species group, the chagnoni group, and two apomorphic groups: the graminea and strix groups. The latter are exclusively temperate Palaearctic. Xylomoia chagnoni (Barnes & McDunnough) is the only Nearctic species of the genus, and the loosely related X. apameaoides (Hacker) was recently described from Turkey. In geographical isolation, these two species have retained many ancestral features. In the more central area, the common ancestor of the graminea and strix groups has evolved into at least five species. The locality and rarity of the species of Xylomoia seemingly result from adaptation of the species to moist habitats, the larvae probably bore inside grass stems (the case of X. chagnoni). What are called lock-and-key mechanisms may lead to the use of non-independent character states in a cladistic analysis; particularly in the case of homoplasy this kind of double-weighting may result in erroneous cladograms. In Xylomoia, deleting female lock-and-keys affected only the number of cladograms produced, whereas omitting the corresponding male characters had profound effects on the cladogram.
    Systematic Entomology 01/2002; 23(2):173 - 186. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The status of Anarta cordigera (Thunberg, 1788), formerly treated as a circumboreal holarctic species, is reassessed in the light of characters of the male vesica and female bursa copulatrix. Populations are arranged in four species: A. cordigera in Europe; A. carbonaria Christoph, 1893 in Siberia and the Far East; A. luteola Grote and Robinson, 1865 in North America; and A. macrostigma Lafontaine and Mikkola, new species, in western North America. Adults and genitalia are illustrated for the four species.
    The Canadian Entomologist 10/1987; 119(10). · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The taxonomy, phylogeny and zoogeography of the six species and thirteen subspecies of the subgenus Pachnobia known from the Holarctic region are reviewed. Two new subspecies of Xestia lorezi (Staudinger) are described: X. l. katuna Mikkola from Altai Mtns., USSR and X. l. ogilviana Lafontaine from Yukon, Canada; the taxa sajana Tschetverikov and kongsvoldensis Grönlien are treated as subspecies of X. lorezi. Nine species-group names and two genus-group names are placed in synonymy. Five taxa are assigned a new status and one is listed as a new combination. Eight lectotypes are designated. Xestia lorezi and X. kolymae (Herz) are reported from the Nearctic region for the first time and X. okakensis (Packard) is reported for the first time in the Palaearctic region. Illustrations of adults and male and female genitalia, and range maps, are given for each species.
    Insect systematics & evolution 12/1986; 18(3):305-331. · 0.68 Impact Factor
  • Kauri Mikkola
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    ABSTRACT: As part of critical review of the Geometroidea and Noctuoidea described by Linnaeus the species described by Carl Clerck (1710-1765) are reviewed. Clerck (1759) described 25 nominal species of Geometroidea and Noctuoidea, all of Swedish origin, 22 of which are currently regarded as valid. 17 lectotypes are designated, 9 from the Clerck Collection, 6 from the Linnaeus Collection, and 2 from De Geer's collection. The name fulvago Clerck is a new junior synonym of Agrochola helvola (Linnaeus, 1758). The name "fulvago: Linnaeus 1761" is a later citation of Oerck's name, and thus should not replace the name Xanthia sulphurago (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775). The name hepatica Clerck is a new senior synonym of Lithophane socia (Hufnagel, 1766). For Polia hepatica auct., nec Clerck, the name tincta Brahm, 1790 is available.
    Insect systematics & evolution 12/1984; 16(2):121-129. · 0.68 Impact Factor
  • Kauri Mikkola
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    ABSTRACT: The black or dark coloration of Lepidoptera showing industrial melanism is regularly inherited as a unifactorially determined, fully dominant character. It has been suggested that non-linked modifiers in the genome are responsible for the dominance. To test this, melanic moths from the Liverpool area of Biston betularius (L.) (f. carbonaria) and of Odontopera (= Gonodontis) bidentata (CI.) (f. nigra) were crossed for five generations with typicals from Finland where no or few specimens of these melanic forms had been observed. The dominance could not be broken as the heterozygous and homozygous moths composed a relatively homogenous group. It is concluded that the dominance of these forms might be determined by the gene itself or modifiers linked to it. A less extreme melanic form of O. bidentata, named f. seminigra n.f., is probably an allelomorph with f. nigra, and also fully dominant over the typical form. Occurrence of the melanic forms of both species in northern Europe is reviewed.
    Heredity. 01/1984; 52(1).
  • Kauri Mikkola
    Insect Systematics & Evolution - INSECT SYST EVOL. 01/1983; 14(1):81-84.
  • Insect Systematics & Evolution - INSECT SYST EVOL. 01/1983; 14(3):337-369.
  • Duodecim; lääketieteellinen aikakauskirja 02/1982; 98(13):1022-5.
  • Kauri Mikkola
    Insect Systematics & Evolution - INSECT SYST EVOL. 01/1981; 12(4):433-436.
  • Kauri Mikkola
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    ABSTRACT: The melanism of Oligia strigilis (L.) occurs in Finland as geugraphical isolates, whereas that of O. latruncula (D. & Sch.) has a continuous distribution. The local populations of O. strigilis differ from each other in the colouration of the melanic moths and in the relationship between the numerical ratio of the colour forms and stage of air pollution. It appears that melanism has arisen independently in several localities, since diffuse gene flow between localities or from outside Finland seems improbable. According to this mosaic distribution and since the oldest melanic moths known from Finland date from 1961, an early stage of industrial melanism might be in evidence. - Two pairings showed that melanic colouration is a dominant character which seems to be controlled by a single gene pair. The role played by multiple allelism and/or incompleteness of the dominance in the variation of the external appearance of the melanics needs further investigation.
    Insect systematics & evolution 12/1979; 11(1):1-8. · 0.68 Impact Factor
  • K. Mikkola, I. Jalas

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