Ecology of Biological Invasions of North America and Hawaii

Volume 58 of the series Ecological Studies pp 79-95

Which Animal Will Invade?

  • P. R. Ehrlich

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One of the most persistent puzzles for ecologists and population geneticists is why some animals are extremely successful invaders (colonists), while close relatives are not. Thus the European cabbage butterfly (Pieris rapae) has, in the last century, invaded Bermuda, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and other Pacific islands, while other European Pieris species such as P. mannii and P. ergane have not yet crossed the Atlantic, and the large white, P. brassicae, has only recently established a toehold in South America (Feltwell 1978). Furthermore, Pieris species established in North America for many millennia, such as P. napi and members of the P. protodice complex, have not yet managed to establish themselves in Hawaii.