Why Have Multiple Plastic Responses? Interactions between Color Change and Heat Avoidance Behavior in Battus philenor Larvae
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherUNIV CHICAGO PRESS
CitationWhy Have Multiple Plastic Responses? Interactions between Color Change and Heat Avoidance Behavior in Battus philenor Larvae 2017, 189 (6):657 The American Naturalist
JournalThe American Naturalist
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Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractHaving multiple plastic responses to a change in the environment, such as increased temperature, can be adaptive for two major reasons: synergy (the plastic responses perform better when expressed simultaneously) or complementarity (each plastic response provides a greater net benefit in a different environmental context). We investigated these hypotheses for two forms of temperature-induced plasticity of Battus philenor caterpillars in southern Arizona populations: color change (from black to red at high temperatures) and heat avoidance behavior (movement from host to elevated refuges at high host temperatures). Field assays using aluminum models showed that the cooling effect of the red color is greatly reduced in a refuge position relative to that on a host. Field assays with live caterpillars demonstrated that refuge seeking is much more important for survival under hot conditions than coloration; however, in those assays, red coloration reduced the need to seek refuges. Our results support the complementarity hypothesis: refuge seeking facilitates survival during daily temperature peaks, while color change reduces the need to leave the host over longer warm periods. We propose that combinations of rapid but costly short-term behavioral responses and slow but efficient long-term morphological responses may be common when coping with temperature change.
Note12 month embargo; Published Online: Mar 28, 2017
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Science Foundation [DGE-1143953]
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