By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Research findings on Life Science Research are discussed in a new report. According to news originating from Townsville, Australia, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Nature's most striking, complex and innovative colour signals are generated via selective reflectance from optical nanostructures (rather than selective absorbance by pigments), a phenomenon known as structural coloration. These colours reach their height of visual brilliance as sexual signals, a context in which they also express both great functional innovation and high evolutionary lability."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from James Cook University, "However, owing to a historical preoccupation with pigments, we know relatively little about the evolutionary causes and consequences of innovation in structurally coloured sexual signals, especially in exemplar arthropod taxa. In this study we addressed the possibility that species differences in intraspecific mating preferences may contribute to visual and functional variation in structural coloration. We contrasted mate preferences and signal properties between two closely related butterfly species (Hypolimnas alimena and Hypolimnas bolina) that possess male-elaborated structural coloration. Hypolimnas bolina offers a valuable comparative basis because females are known to prefer highly bright and limited-view ultraviolet markings, which males generate via complex nanoscale surface multilayer arrays. Male H. alimena, by contrast, display less bright and weakly iridescent dorsal blue, arising from a simpler surface micro-architecture. In two separate experiments, we found that female H. alimena did not distinguish between males spanning a graded range of 0.25-1.4x natural peak brightness. Only once the dorsal blue was completely obscured did male mating success suffer. Furthermore, a sample of wild phenotypes indicated greater variance for signal brightness in male H. bolina than H. alimena, but no difference in peak hue (i.e. signal colour)."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "These results supported a priori predictions, and are consistent with a scenario whereby directional female preference has driven male signal exaggeration in H. bolina, but not its less ornamented close congener."
For more information on this research see: Female mating preferences and male signal variation in iridescent Hypolimnas butterflies. Animal Behaviour, 2014;87():221-229. Animal Behaviour can be contacted at: Academic Press Ltd- Elsevier Science Ltd, 24-28 Oval Rd, London NW1 7DX, England. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Animal Behaviour - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/622782)
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from D.J. Kemp, James Cook Univ, Center Trop Biodivers & Climate Change, Townsville, Qld, Australia. Additional authors for this research include D. Jones, J.M. Macedonia and A.K. Krockenberger (see also Life Science Research).
Keywords for this news article include: Townsville, Life Science Research, Australia and New Zealand
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