Elie Semaan 6/12/2010 Entomology Color of Butterfly Wings. Assignment 2 Butterfly wing color- patterns are composed of anatomically identifiable pattern elements. The color- patterns are highly complex and diverse. It is commonly known that there exists an “ideal” pattern that changes based on evolution. I will be discussing two aspects in the wing color of Vanessa Carui butterfly.
One of the characteristics of the Vanessa Cardui is its Pupae; this reflects a pupal color polyohenism that is made of dark, white and in-between types. However, studies show that environmental factors affect the pupal color and there physiological status. Larvies were raised at different temperatures, 16oC and 32 oC; 80% of the first collections exhibited pupae of dark colors, and 62% of the others developed white colors respectively. This showed that the temperatures in which the larvae are raised are an essential condition affecting the pupal coloration. Another experiment was also done on larvae raised at a common temperature.
They were divided between abdominal and thoracic fractions at various pharate pupal phases. All the head-theoracic fractions in spite of the phase they were from, exhibited white pupae while the abdominal parts exhibited white or dark colors based on the phase they were ligatured at. We conclude that the element that encourages the white color is originated from the theoracic part. Finally other experiments also showed that dark pupae added with basic extracts primed from central nervous system, turn in further stages of their life cycle into white color pupae.
These consequences propose that the feature suggesting white pupae is an important molecule controlling pupal color polyphenism in Vanessa Carui. The other characteristic to be discussed is the color pattern modification on the wings of the Vanessa Cardui. Studies show that the adding continuous dose of sodium tungstate, that is a PTPase inhibitor, successfully produces modified color-patterns. Comparison was made between different species of butterflies. In Vanessa indica, the black spots on the wings became smaller due to the treatment, while in Lycaena phlaeas the similar black spots enlarged in size.
Moreover, the blue spots on the forewings of the Vanessa indica did enlarge in size. This showed that on the same fraction of the wing different responses occur to the same treatment. Moreover, different species respond to similar treatments in different ways even if they are morphologically similar in some aspects. It was confirmed in researches the being of natural color patterns with accurate similarities to the experimentally induced ones. As a result we can conclude that many environmental factors effect the phenotypes of various butterflies and those natural phenotypes can also be similar to ones experimentally induced.
References: Otaki, J. (2008). Phenotypic plasticity of wing color patterns revealed by temperature and chemical applications in a nymphalid butterfly Vanessa indica. Journal of Thermal Biology, 33(2), 128-139. doi:10. 1016/j. jtherbio. 2007. 11. 004. Yamanaka, A. , Kometani, M. , Yamamoto, K. , Tsujimura, Y. , Motomura, M. , Kitazawa, C. , et al. (2009). Hormonal control of pupal coloration in the painted lady butterfly Vanessa cardui. Journal of Insect Physiology, 55(6), 512-517. doi:10. 1016/j. jinsphys. 2009. 01. 007.