Evolutionary ecology of bodily damage: butterfly wing damage as a window on predation

 AHLeGall    01/02/2019 : 22:55


01/01 : SEMINAIRE ECOBIO DE FREEK MOLLEMAN (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)

Le vendredi 1 février 2019 à 13h00, salle de conférences de l'OSUR (bât. 14B, Campus de Beaulieu, UR1), Freerk Molleman propose un séminaire intitulé "Evolutionary ecology of bodily damage: butterfly wing damage as a window on predation"

In most organisms, individuals often sustain bodily damage that affects their remaining life. Failed predator attacks are a common cause of such damage, and bodily damage can thus yield indirect information on predator-prey interactions that are difficult to observe directly in nature. After experiments have demonstrated that particular predators cause particular types of damage to prey, the frequency of such damages can be compared among phenotypes or species. It has been shown that crypsis reduces attack rates on static prey, activity increases predation risk, and rapid locomotion reduces attack rates and increases chances of surviving predator attacks. In nature, it remains unclear how much factors such as crypsis, activity levels, and moving speed control realized predation risk across species of a given community. To provide the first robust multi-species comparative analysis of damage in wild animals, we quantified how species traits affect predation risk in nature by determining how (sex-specific) species traits correlate with wing damage caused by failed predation attempts. For 34 species of fruit-feeding butterflies in an African forest, we recorded wing damage and quantified crypsis, activity levels, and flight speed. We then tested for correlations between damage parameters and species traits. Our results provide evidence that locomotion increases the probability of attacks that cause non-symmetrical wing surface loss, and that flying rapidly is effective for escaping pursuing predators in the wild, but we detected no effect of crypsis on wing damage.

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