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Polymorphic Mimicry in a Population of the African Butterfly, Pseudacraea eurytus (L.) (Lep. Nymphalidae)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The African butterfly, Pseudacraea eurytus, is a polymorphic Batesian mimic of various species of unpalatable Bematistes. In an attempt to correlate the relative frequency of the models and the mimics numerous difficulties were encountered, the most important of which is the association of some of the polymorphic forms with sex and the varying probabilities of capture of males and females of models and mimics. These difficulties are partly overcome by estimating changes in diversity in the models and the mimics on a seasonal basis; but the general conclusion reached is that it is extremely difficult to analyse quantitatively the relationship between models and mimics in a natural situation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal Ecology, University of Lund, Sweden, Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, Littlehampton, Sussex, England


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