The Genetics of Seasonal Polyphenism and the Evolution of “General Purpose Genotypes” in Butterflies

  • A. M. Shapiro
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


This paper is really a specialized appendix to Professor Scharloo’s on “The Genetics of Adaptive Reactions.” It deals with a particular set of such reactions — those of butterfly wing patterns to environmental factors — and asks whether those which seem adaptive are evolutionarily related to those which do not, and if so, how. Despite more than a century of interest in such phenomena, the answers are not yet in; we are only now able to do the carefully controlled experiments necessary to partition phenotypic variation into its environmental and genetic components and this work is still very much in progress. So this will be a very unsatisfying presentation — full of qualitative statements, long on speculation, short on hard data. If it serves as a provocation it will have done its duty.


Transverse Line Wing Pattern Ground Color Female Pattern Napi Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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