Avian Feeding Behaviour and the Selective Advantage of Incipient Mimicry

  • L. P. Brower
  • J. Alcock
  • Jane V. Z. Brower


Studies of mimicry have contributed significantly to our understanding of the process of natural selection and are well reviewed by Rettenmeyer (1970). The recent genetical investigation by Clarke, Sheppard & Thornton (1968) on the Malaysian butterfly Papilio memnon L. is of special importance. It confirms for a wholly separate and very different geographical area the conclusions arrived at in earlier genetic analyses of the African mimic, P. dardanus Brown, so admirably summarized by Ford (1964). These genetical studies make it clear that the evolution of mimicry results from the accumulation of numerous changes each of which increases to a small extent the resemblance of the mimic to the model. Consequently the older idea of Punnett (1915) and Goldschmidt (1945) that mimicry evolves by means of saltatory macromutations is no longer tenable.


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Copyright information

© Blackwell Scientific Publications 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. P. Brower
  • J. Alcock
  • Jane V. Z. Brower

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