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Life History of Dynastor Darius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Brassolinae) in Panama

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... Sometimes these mimics are exclusively visual (i.e. not auditory); the pupae of the butterfly Dynastor darius bear a striking resemblance to the head of lancehead vipers (Bothrops) (Aiello and Silberglied 1978). We are not aware of any example of an anuran mimicking a venomous snake, and mimicry complexes involving frogs (e.g. ...
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Batesian mimicry is a phenomenon in nature whereby a non-toxic animal emulates a noxious one, seeking to deter predators by deception. This type of mimicry occurs in many animals, with numerous documented examples of invertebrates, harmless squamates, and even birds that mimic venomous snakes. However, no observations of anurans mimicking venomous snakes have been reported. Based on comparative data from colour pattern, morphology, geographic distribution and behaviour, we propose that the Congolese Giant Toad (Sclerophrys channingi), endemic to Democratic Republic of Congo, is a Batesian mimic of the geographically widespread Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica). Although the colour pattern similarity between these taxa is not an exact match, aposematism and precise imitation are not required for Batesian mimicry to be effective, especially when the model (B. gabonica) is dangerously venomous and carefully avoided by other vertebrates. Given the morphological similarity between S. channingi and two other African toad species (S. brauni and S. superciliaris) that are sympatric with B. gabonica and its sister taxon (B. rhinoceros), similar examples of Batesian mimicry are likely.
... Another example is the pupae of several tropical butter ies and moths, which are known to have animal eye-like or face-like color patterns. In these cases, defensive function must be discussed not only in terms of avoidance learning after encountering predators, but also in terms of innate avoidance of threats (apparent eyes or face which triggers the ight/ ight response) from potential predators such as cats, hawks, and snakes (Aiello & Silberglied 1978, Janzen et al. 2010). The moth Pryeria sinica Moore, 1877 (Zygaenidae) is univoltine; its pupae pass the summer in cocoons (summer diapause), and the adults emerge beginning in late October (Ishii et al. 1983). ...
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The final-instar larvae of Pryeria sinica Moore, 1877 (Zygaenidae) are conspicuously colored yellow-green with black stripes and are known to escape from attacks after predators learn of the cyanogenic fluids secreted on their body surface. Ivela auripes (Butler, 1877) (Lymantriidae) is often found in the same habitat during the same season as P. sinica, and its pupa (not larva) is similar to larval P. sinica in shape and color. Mature larvae of P. sinica search for pupation sites during the daytime and pupate in cryptic, pale-brown cocoons. On the other hand, I. auripes pupates without cocoons on substrates near and above the ground, where they appear to be exposed to predators. In this study, it was observed that Japanese tits, Parus minor Temminck & Schlegel, 1848, ate I. auripes pupae attached to a wall, but no tit individual ever attacked them repeatedly. When fed pupae or larvae in the laboratory, Japanese grass lizards, Takydromus tachydromoides (Schlegel, 1838), rarely ate larval P. sinica or pupal I. auripes or regurgitated them soon after eating them, suggesting their unpalatability. If discrimination of pupal I. auripes from larval P. sinica is not precise for these potential predators, their similar warning colors might constitute a rare case of Müllerian mimicry between different developmental stages of unrelated moth species.
... In some species, a dark stripe extends through the (false) eye, resembling the eye stripe that occurs commonly among vipers and arboreal colubrids (Pough et al. 1978). The pupae of some lepidopterans resemble snakes (Aiello and Silberglied 1978), and this mimicry is also abstract ( fig. 2). ...
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The papers were originally presented at the American Society of Naturalists 1985 vice-presidential symposium, and assembles research on protective mimicry. The investigations integrate behavioural, ecological, genetic and systematic data to provide a clear-cut example of post-Darwinian natural selection. After a preface, chapters describe research on: avian predation on the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus and its implications for mimicry theory; the evolution of conspicuous colouration; mathematical models of mimicry; the evolution of mimicry - a solution to the problem of punctuated equilibrium; mimicry of vertebrates - are the rules different; asynchrony between Batesian mimics and their models. -after Authors
... Species of Dynastor are the only members of Brassolini known to use bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) as larval host plants (Penz et al. 1999 and references therein). Females lay eggs sparingly -12 eggs in three days for captive D. darius darius (Fabricius) (Aiello & Silberglied 1978), and 42 eggs in six days for D. darius stygianus Butler (Romero et al. 2004). Caterpillars have well-developed head scoli and caudae, conforming to a characteristic brassoline morphology (Casagrande 1995). ...
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This study examines the phylogenetic relationships among species of the butterfly genera Dynastor and Brassolis using 57 characters from adult morphology and wing coloration. We provide evidence for the monophyly of both genera. The relationships among Dynastor species are well resolved, but we were unable to find informative characters that could resolve the relationships inside Brassolis. We provide diagnoses for Dynastor and Brassolis and all species included in these genera, including illustrations that show geographical variation in wing color. The status of one subspecies is changed to species; Brassolis dinizi d'Almeida, 1956, NEW STATUS.
... The pupae of some lepidopterans resemble snakes (Aiello and Silberglied 1978), and this mimicry is also abstract (fig. 2 ...
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Examples of mimicry among vertebrates are numerically fewer than examples involving insects. The relatively small number of species of vertebrates, compared with the number of species of insects, probably explains some of the apparent scarcity of mimicry. Possibly more important is a mismatch between the primarily visual sensory world of humans and the predominantly chemosensory, auditory, and tactile worlds of most other vertebrates, which has probably concealed many manifestations of mimicry. Systematic investigation of the information that vertebrates convey through these sensory modalities will probably reveal many additional examples of mimicry. Concrete homotypies-those cases in which the model can be identified as a particular species of animal-are widespread among fishes and amphibians and have been suggested for birds and mammals. Both Batesian and Mullerian protective mimicry systems have been described. Because vertebrates grow during their lifetimes without conspicuous changes in morphology, s...
... Species of Dynastor are the only members of Brassolini known to use bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) as larval host plants (Penz et al. 1999and references therein). Females lay eggs sparingly – 12 eggs in three days for captive D. darius darius (Fabricius) (Aiello & Silberglied 1978), and 42 eggs in six days for D. darius stygianus Butler (Romero et al. 2004). Caterpillars have well-developed head scoli and caudae, conforming to a characteristic brassoline morphology (Casagrande 1995). ...
Article
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This study examines the phylogenetic relationships among species of the butterfly genera Dynastor and Brassolis using 57 characters from adult morphology and wing coloration. We provide evidence for the monophyly of both genera. The relationships among Dynastor species are well resolved, but we were unable to find informative characters that could resolve the relationships inside Brassolis. We provide diagnoses for Dynastor and Brassolis and all species included in these genera, including illustrations that show geographical variation in wing color. The status of one subspecies is changed to species; Brassolis dinizi d’Almeida, 1956, NEW STATUS.
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The immature stages of Oxytenis modestia are described, with special attention to the first instar, the larval food plants are reported, and larval and adult behaviors are described. Limited information is given for the genera Homoeopteryx and Asthenidia, and they are compared and contrasted with Oxytenis.
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Here we describe the complete life cycle of Caligo illioneus oberon Butler and the mature larva and pupa of C. idomeneus (L.). The mature larva and pupa of each species are illustrated. We also provide a compilation of host records for members of the Brassolinae and briefly address the interaction between these butterflies and their larval food plants.
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During rearing studies, larvae of 41 Pacific Northwest butterfly species from three families (Nymphalidae, Hesperiidae and Pieridae) were identified as possessing a prosternai gland. Observations on larvae of Argynnis spp. (Nymphalidae) showed the gland appeared in the second instar as a pale-colored ventral suture. Rough handling of final instars caused eversion of a single-lobed papilla and emission of a 'musky' odor. The prosternai glands of all nymphalid and hesperid larvae examined were similar morphologically but the pierids, Neophasia menapia and Nathalis iole possessed a pair of bi-lobed glands. Chemical analyses revealed that the glands of final instar Argynnis spp. contained hydrocarbons, fatty alcohols, carboxylic acids and acetate esters. Dodecene or dodecanol and/or associated alkanes and acetate esters occurred in nearly all Argynnis samples as well as in the glands of N. menapia (Pieridae) and Polites sonora (Hesperiidae) larvae. These compounds have a dispersive function in other arthropods. Terpenoid compounds were found in most samples and likely have a defensive function. Glands contained other potentially defensive compounds including disulfides, squalene, acridine, diphenyl ether and diphenylamine. Based on these preliminary data, the prosternai gland appears to have at least two functions in butterfly larvae: defense and dispersion. The apparent widespread occurrence of prosternai glands in larvae of Nymphalidae and Hesperiidae suggests that this gland is important in the ecology of many species although experimental evidence for function is needed.
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SUMMARY During the final larval instar of the tobacco hornworm the presence of juvenile hormone (JH) inhibits the secretion of the brain's prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH). The corpora allata cease to secrete JH when the larvae attain a weight of approximately 5 g. The JH is cleared from the haemo- lymph in about 24 h. This process in itself renders the brain competent to release PTTH. The actual release of PTTH occurs at the very first photo- periodic gate after the JH has disappeared from the haemolymph. A func- tional failure of this normal mechanism is apparently responsible for the developmental standstill of Lepidoptera which diapause as mature larvae.
Control9f moulting and metamorphosis in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta (L.): growth of the last-instar larva and the decision to pupate
  • H F Nijhout
  • C M Williams
NIJHOUT, H. F. AND WILLIAMS, C. M. 1974a. Control9f moulting and metamorphosis in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta (L.): growth of the last-instar larva and the decision to pupate. 1. Exp. BioI., 61: 481-491.
Notes on Amathusiidae,Brassolidae, Morphidae, etc., with descriptions of new forms
  • L Rothschild
ROTHSCHILD, L. 1916. Notes on Amathusiidae,Brassolidae, Morphidae, etc., with descriptions of new forms. Novit. Zool., 23: 299-318.