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Evidence for Batesian mimicry in a polymorphic hoverfly

Reader, Tom

Authors

Tom Reader tom.reader@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Palatable Batesian mimics are avoided by predators because they resemble noxious or defended species. The striking resemblance of many hoverflies to noxious Hymenoptera is a “textbook” example of Batesian mimicry, but evidence that selection by predators has shaped the evolution of hoverfly patterns is weak. We looked for geographical and temporal trends in frequencies of morphs of the polymorphic hoverfly Volucella bombylans that would support the hypothesis that these morphs are Batesian mimics of different bumblebee species. The frequency of the black and yellow hoverfly morph was significantly positively related to the frequency of black and yellow bumblebees across 52 sites. Similarly, the frequency of the red-tailed hoverfly morph was positively related to the frequency of red-tailed bumblebees. However, the frequencies of hoverfly morphs were positively spatially autocorrelated, and after controlling for this, only one of the two common hoverfly morphs showed a significant positive relationship with its putative model. We conclude that the distribution of V. bombylans morphs probably reflects geographical variation in selection by predators resulting from differences in the frequencies of noxious bumblebee species.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2014
Journal Evolution
Print ISSN 0014-3820
Electronic ISSN 1558-5646
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Reader, T. (2014). Evidence for Batesian mimicry in a polymorphic hoverfly. Evolution, 68(3), doi:10.1111/evo.12308
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.12308
Keywords Adaptation; distribution; natural selection; polymorphism; Volucella bombylans
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.12308/abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Edmunds, M. and Reader, T. (2014), Evidence for Batesian mimicry in a polymorphic hoverfly. Evolution, 68: 827–839, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12308. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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