Chapter 6. Butterfly Eyespot Patterns and How Evolutionary Tinkering Yields Diversity

  1. Gregory Bock Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Paul M. Brakefield

Published Online: 11 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470319390.ch6

Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 284

Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 284

How to Cite

Brakefield, P. M. (2006) Butterfly Eyespot Patterns and How Evolutionary Tinkering Yields Diversity, in Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 284 (eds G. Bock and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470319390.ch6

Author Information

  1. Institute of Biology, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 JUN 2007
  2. Published Print: 8 JUN 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470034293

Online ISBN: 9780470319390

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Keywords:

  • evolutionary tinkering in genetical and developmental terms;
  • Bicyclus anynana - butterfly eyespot patterns;
  • evolutionary constraints and genetic channelling;
  • artificial selection and evolutionary change bias;
  • evolutionary tinkering and eyespot traits

Summary

Eyespots are repeated elements in the wing pattern of butterflies. In the speciesrich genus of Bicyclus, all eyespots are formed by the same developmental process. Artificial selection in B. anynana has explored how readily two of the eyespots can become different to each other. There is sufficient standing genetic and developmental variation in a single stock of this species for high flexibility in the responses for eyespot size; indeed selection over 25 generations in several directions of morphospace yielded phenotypes far beyond the variability found in the whole genus. In contrast, experiments on another eyespot trait, their colour composition, indicate that comparable flexibility occurs only along the axis of least resistance in which both eyespots change in the same direction. This result is reflected in both a clear difference in the developmental regulation of eyespot size and colour composition, and in the patterns of variability among species. Such research that integrates evolutionary genetics and Evo-Devo will eventually reveal how evolutionary tinkering occurs in both genetical and developmental terms, and will also explore the consequences of differences in evolvability for patterns of diversity.