Male-specific Iridescent Coloration in the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) is Used in Mate Choice by Females but not Sexual Discrimination by Males

Ronald L. Rutowski, Parth K. Rajyaguru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the potential roles in behavioral interactions of sexually dichromatic iridescent blue coloration found on the dorsal hindwing of male Pipevine Swallowtails (Battus philenor). Behavioral experiments in a large enclosure addressed whether male dorsal hindwing coloration mediated sexual recognition by males, female choice of mates, or both. Models presented to males in the enclosure produced responses that show that males discriminate females from other males using chemical but not visual cues. In contrast, ablation of male dorsal iridescence significantly reduced male mating success with virgin females in the enclosure. The results support the hypothesis that male-specific iridescent coloration in this species is a signal that is important for females in assessing either male species identity or quality in intersexual interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Battus philenor
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Sexual coloration
  • mate selection
  • sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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