Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 197–212

Towards a historization of aposematism

Article

Abstract

Aposematism is one of the oldest phenomena in evolutionary biology and still a major puzzle to biologists. Despite its evolutionary nature, most attempts to understand aposematism are devoid of phylogenetic components. In addition, most studies that do take phylogeny into account need to bring the analysis even further. We argue that in order to fully understand aposematism we must have a clear picture of the evolutionary history behind present behaviours. In this paper we frame aposematism in a phylogenetic context and argue that most studies still are wanting in terms of demonstrating aposematism. Aposematism is not an end product but rather evolutionary scenarios including character transformations as well as prey–predator interactions. Finally, we suggest that, regardless how we restrict the concept of aposematism, knowing the directions of events facilitate all kinds of comparisons with a promise of uniting functional and evolutionary aspects into a historization of aposematism.

adaptation crypsis event-based explanations evolution mimicry phylogeny 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alatalo, R.V. and Mappes, J. (1996) Tracking the evolution of warning signals. Nature 382, 708–710.Google Scholar
  2. Bates, H.W. (1862) Contributions to an insect fauna of the Amazon Valley, Lepidoptera: Heliconidae. Trans.Linn. Soc. Lond. 23, 459–566.Google Scholar
  3. Baum, D.A. and Larson, A. (1991) Adaptation reviewed: a phylogenetic methodology for studying character macroevolution. Syst. Zool. 40, 1–18.Google Scholar
  4. Bird, A. (1998) Philosophy of Science. McGill-Queen's University Press, London.Google Scholar
  5. Brodie, E.D., Williams, C.R. and Tyler, M.J. (1998) Evolution of aposematic behaviour and coloration in the Australian frog genus Uperoleia. J. Herpetol. 32, 136–139.Google Scholar
  6. Coddington, J.A. (1988) Cladistic tests of adaptational hypotheses. Cladistics 4, 3–22.Google Scholar
  7. Coddington, J.A. (1994) The roles of homology and convergence in studies of adaptation. In P. Eggleton and R. Vane-Wright (eds) Phylogenetics and Ecology, Academic Press, London, pp. 53–78.Google Scholar
  8. Cott, H.B. (1940) Adaptive Coloration in Animals. Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  9. Darwin, C. (1859) Origin of Species. John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  10. Darwin, C. (1871) The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  11. Edmunds, M. (1974) Defence in Animals: A Survey of Anti-predator Defences. Longman, Harlow, Essex.Google Scholar
  12. Edmunds, M. (1987) Color in opisthobranchs. Am. Malacol. Bull. 5, 185–196.Google Scholar
  13. Endler, J.A. (1990) On the measurement and classification of colour in studies of animal colour patterns. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 41, 315–352.Google Scholar
  14. Ereshefsky, M. (2001) The Poverty of the Linnean Hierarchy. A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  15. Felsenstein, J. (1985) Phylogenies and the comparative method. Am. Nat. 125, 1–15.Google Scholar
  16. Ghiselin, M.T. (1966) On psychologism in the logic of taxonomic controversies. Syst. Zool. 15, 207–215.Google Scholar
  17. Ghiselin, M.T. (1974) A radical solution to the species problem. Syst. Zool. 23, 536–544.Google Scholar
  18. Ghiselin, M.T. (1981) Categories, life, and thinking. Behav. Brain Sci. 4, 269–313.Google Scholar
  19. Ghiselin, M.T. (1997) Metaphysics and the Origin of Species. SUNY Press, Albany.Google Scholar
  20. Gould, S.J. and Vrba, E.S. (1982) Exaptation-a missing term in the science of form. Palaeobiology 8, 4–15.Google Scholar
  21. Götmark, F. (1999) The importance of non-reproductive functions of bird coloration, especially anti-predator adaptations. In N.J. Adams and R.H. Slotow (eds) Proc. 22 Int. Ornithol. Congr. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg, pp. 1706–1718.Google Scholar
  22. Guilford, T. (1988) The evolution of conspicuous coloration. Am. Nat. 131, 7–21.Google Scholar
  23. Guilford, T. (1990) The evolution of aposematism. In D.L. Lewis and J.O. Schmidt (eds) Insect defenses. SUNY Press, Albany, pp. 23–61.Google Scholar
  24. Guilford, T. and Dawkins, M.S. (1993) Are warning colors handicaps. Evolution 47, 400–416.Google Scholar
  25. Guilford, T. and Rowe, C. (1996) Unpalatable evolutionary principles. Nature 382, 667–668.Google Scholar
  26. Harvey, P.H. and Paxton, R.J. (1981) The evolution of aposematic coloration. Oikos 37, 391–396.Google Scholar
  27. Härlin, M. (1999) The logical priority of the tree over characters and some of its consequences for taxonomy. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 68, 497–503.Google Scholar
  28. Holloway, G.J., Brakefield, P.M. and Dejong, P.W. (1995) A quantitative genetic-analysis of an aposematic color pattern and its ecological implications. Philos. T. Roy. Soc. B 348, 373–379.Google Scholar
  29. Hull, D.L. (1983) Karl Popper and Plato's metaphor. In N. Platnick and V.I. Funck (eds) Advances in Cladistics, Vol. 2. Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 177–190.Google Scholar
  30. Kapan, D.D. (2001) Three-butterfly system provides a field test of müllerian mimicry. Nature 409, 338–340.Google Scholar
  31. Lindström, L. (1999) Experimental approaches to studying the initial evolution of conspicuous aposematic signalling. Evol. Ecol. 13, 605–618.Google Scholar
  32. Lindström, L., Alatalo, R.V., Mappes, J., Riipi, M. and Vertainen, L. (1999) Can aposematic signals evolve by gradual change? Nature 397, 249–251.Google Scholar
  33. Losos, J.B. (1999) Uncertainty in the reconstruction of ancestral character states and limitations on the use of phylogenetic comparative methods. Anim. Behav. 58, 1319–1324.Google Scholar
  34. Maddison, W.P. (1990) A method for testing the correlated evolution of two binary characters: are gains and losses concentrated on certain branches of a phylogenetic tree? Evolution 44, 539–557.Google Scholar
  35. Maddison, D.R. and Maddison, W.P. (2001) MacClade 4.01. Sinauer Ass., Inc., Sunderland, Massachusetts, USA.Google Scholar
  36. Mallet, J. and Joron, M. (1999) Evolution of diversity in warning color and mimicry: Polymorphisms, Shifting Balance, and Speciation. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 30, 201–233.Google Scholar
  37. Nixon, K.C. and Carpenter, J.M. (1993) On outgroups. Cladistics 9, 413–426.Google Scholar
  38. O'Hara, R.J. (1988) Homage to Clio, or, toward an historical philosophy for evolutionary biology. Syst. Zool. 37 , 142–155. Google Scholar
  39. O'Hara, R.J. (1992) Telling the tree: narrative representation and the study of evolutionary history. Biol. Philos. 7, 135–160.Google Scholar
  40. Poulton, E.B. (1890) The Colours of Animals: Their Meaning and Use. Especially Considered in the Case of Insects. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, London.Google Scholar
  41. Servedio, M.R. (2000) The effects of predator learning, forgetting, and recognition errors on the evolution of warning coloration. Evolution 54, 751–763.Google Scholar
  42. Sillén-Tullberg, B. (1988) Evolution of gregariousness in aposematic butterfly larvae: a phylogenetic analysis. Evolution 42, 293–305.Google Scholar
  43. Sterelny, K. and Grifiths, P.E. (1999) Sex and Death. An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology. Chicago University Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  44. Summers, K. and Clough, M.E. (2001) The evolution of coloration and toxicity in the poison frog family (Dendrobatidae). PNAS 98, 6227–6232.Google Scholar
  45. Symula, R., Schulte, R. and Summers, K. (2001) Molecular phylogenetic evidence for a mimetic radiation on Peruvian poison frogs supports a Müllerian mimicry hypothesis. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 268, 2415–2421.Google Scholar
  46. Tullberg, B.S. and Hunter, A.F. (1996) Evolution of larval gregariousness in relation to repellent defences and warning coloration in tree-feeding Macrolepidoptera: a phylogenetic analysis based on independent contrasts. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 57, 253–276.Google Scholar
  47. Tullberg, B.S., Leimar, O. and Gamberale-Stille, G. (2000) Did aggregation favour the initial evolution of warning coloration? A novel world revisited. Anim. Behav. 59, 281–287.Google Scholar
  48. Wanntorp, H.-E., Brooks, D.R., Nilsson, T., Nylin, S., Ronquist, F., Stearns, S.C. and Wedell, N. (1990) Phylogenetic approaches in ecology. Oikos 57, 119–132.Google Scholar
  49. Vogler, A.P. and Kelley, C. (1996) At the interface of phylogenetics and ecology: the case of chemical defense in Cicindela. Ann. Zool. Fennici 33, 39–47.Google Scholar
  50. Vogler, A. and Kelley, C. (1998) Covariation of defensive traits in Tiger beetles (genus Cicindela): A phylogenetic approach using mt DNA. Evolution 52, 529–538.Google Scholar
  51. Wallace, A.R. (1867) Proc. Ent. Soc. March 4th: Ixxx-Ixxxi.Google Scholar
  52. Wenzel, J.W. and Carpenter, J.M. (1994) Comparing methods: adaptive traits and tests of adaptation. In Eggleton, P. and Vane-Wright, R. (eds) Phylogenetics and Ecology. Academic Press, London, pp. 79–101.Google Scholar
  53. White, M. (1965) Foundations of Historical Knowledge. Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  54. Yachi, S. and Higashi, M. (1998) The evolution of warning signals. Nature 394, 882–884.Google Scholar
  55. Zrzavy, J. (1994) Red bugs and the origin of mimetic complexes (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae: Neotropical dysdercus spp.) Oikos 69, 346–352.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Animal EcologyGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Natural SciencesSödertörn University CollegeHuddingeSweden

Personalised recommendations