Evolutionary Ecology Research, 2002, 4: 1017–1032
Generations of the polyphenic butterfly
Araschnia levana differ in body design
1Department of Zoology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Bohemia and 2Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Branisˇovská 31, CZ-370 05 Cˇeské Budeˇjovice, Czech Republic ABSTRACT
The European Map Butterfly, Araschnia levana (Nymphalidae), represents a classicalexample of seasonal polymorphism, in which summer and spring generations differ strikinglyin wing colour pattern. Although the physiological background to the formation of thetwo forms is well known, few studies have explored its possible ecological significance. Basedon previous findings that both population number and body size tend to be larger in summer,we examined the hypothesis that the summer generation is more capable of long-distancedispersal. We re-analysed mark–recapture data on the butterfly using the multi-strata modellingdesign in the program MARK, compared biomechanical design traits of the spring- andsummer-generation butterflies using canonical variate analysis, and tested for inter-generationdifferences in allometry relations of design traits to body size. The summer butterflies hadshorter residence times and a higher probability of movements among capture sites thanthe spring butterflies, indicating greater mobility. Regarding the design traits, adults ofsummer-generation butterflies had a heavier thorax, lower abdomen to body mass ratio,larger wing area, less pointed wings and lower wing loading. The differences in design traitsremained significant even after filtering out the effect of sex. Multiple regressions of the bio-mechanical traits against dry body mass confirmed the above differences between generationsand showed that the differences were not only due to different body size. The results supportthe notion of greater mobility of summer-generation A. levana and suggest the possibilitythat differential dispersal is much more widespread in butterflies with multiple generations.
This is well known in insect groups that demonstrate obvious wing size polymor-phism, and might manifest itself in butterflies through more subtle shifts in body designproportions.
Keywords: allometry, biomechanical design, canonical variate analysis, dispersal, Lepidoptera,seasonal polyphenism.
* Address all correspondence to Martin Konvic˘ka, Department of Zoology, School of Biological Sciences,University of Southern Bohemia, Branisˇovská 31, CZ-370 05, Cˇeské Budeˇjovice, Czech Republic. e-mail:konva@tix.bf.jcu.czConsult the copyright statement on the inside front cover for non-commercial copying policies.
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