University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series > Deconstructing visual signals in social butterflies

Deconstructing visual signals in social butterflies

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Aposematic passion-vine butterflies show the curious social behavior of gathering together into groups to roost for the night. Despite nearly 150 years of popular and scientific interest, the purpose of this behavior has remained a mystery. It has been hypothesized to be beneficial in terms of information sharing and/or anti-predator defense. In this study, we explore why butterflies exploit this unusual behavior to find out exactly what the benefit of being a social butterfly is. Following studies on roosting behavior, we aim to dissect various visual signals communicated by these brightly colored butterflies in the context of both natural and sexual selection by investigating the relative contributions of color versus pattern in predator avoidance and mate recognition.

http://hydara.bio.uci.edu/susan-finkbeiner.php

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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