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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 1969; 63(3): 767–774.
PMCID: PMC223518

ADAPTIVE SIGNIFICANCE OF PIGMENT POLYMORPHISMS IN COLIAS BUTTERFLIES, II. THERMOREGULATION AND PHOTOPERIODICALLY CONTROLLED MELANIN VARIATION IN Colias eurytheme

Abstract

The butterfly Colias eurytheme requires body temperatures above 30°C for flight. When cold, it orients its exposed wing undersides to present maximum surface area to sunlight; when too warm, it orients for minimum exposure. Dark-winged color forms heat faster in sunlight than light ones. The seasonal color polymorphism of Colias appears to have been evolved to maximize solar heating in cold seasons and minimize overheating in warm seasons.

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Selected References

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  • WATT WB. PTERIDINE COMPONENTS OF WING PIGMENTATION IN THE BUTTERFLY COLIAS EURYTHEME. Nature. 1964 Mar 28;201:1326–1327. [PubMed]
  • REMINGTON CL. The genetics of Colias (Lepidoptera). Adv Genet. 1954;6:403–450. [PubMed]
  • ADAMS PA, HEATH JE. TEMPERATURE REGULATION IN THE SPHINX MOTH, CELERIO LINEATA. Nature. 1964 Jan 4;201:20–22. [PubMed]
  • Watt WB. Pteridine biosynthesis in the butterfly Colias eurytheme. J Biol Chem. 1967 Feb 25;242(4):565–572. [PubMed]

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