Evolutionary origins of sexual dimorphism: Lessons from female‐limited mimicry in butterflies - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Evolution - International Journal of Organic Evolution Year : 2022

Evolutionary origins of sexual dimorphism: Lessons from female‐limited mimicry in butterflies

Abstract

The striking female-limited mimicry observed in some butterfly species is a text-book example of sexually dimorphic trait submitted to intense natural selection. Two main evolutionary hypotheses, based on natural and sexual selection respectively, have been proposed. Predation pressure favoring mimicry toward defended species could be higher in females because of their slower flight, and thus overcome developmental constraints favoring the ancestral trait that limits the evolution of mimicry in males but not in females. Alternatively, the evolution of mimicry in males could be limited by female preference for non-mimetic males. However, the evolutionary origin of female preference for non-mimetic males remains unclear. Here, we hypothesize that costly sexual interactions between individuals from distinct sympatric species might intensify because of mimicry, therefore promoting female preference for non-mimetic trait. Using a mathematical model, we compare the evolution of female-limited mimicry when assuming either alternative selective hypotheses. We show that the patterns of divergence of male and female trait from the ancestral traits can differ between these selection regimes. We specifically highlight that divergence in female trait is not a signature of the effect of natural selection. Our results also evidence why female-limited mimicry is more frequently observed in Batesian mimics.

Dates and versions

hal-04048019 , version 1 (27-03-2023)

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Ludovic Maisonneuve, Charline Smadi, Violaine Llaurens. Evolutionary origins of sexual dimorphism: Lessons from female‐limited mimicry in butterflies. Evolution - International Journal of Organic Evolution, 2022, 76 (10), pp.2404-2423. ⟨10.1111/evo.14599⟩. ⟨hal-04048019⟩
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