Many species in the genus Blepharoneura are cryptic. Often, multiple sympatric cryptic species feed on the same species of plant. Courtship behavior may be an important reproductive isolating mechanism among such morphologically similar sympatric species. In Blepharoneura, courtship involves elaborate wing displays. Wing shape may affect pigmentation patterning and vibrational sounds related to wing displays. We used morphometrics to analyze variation in wing shape in seven sympatric species from Jatun Sacha, Ecuador. Wing shapes of all species differed significantly. Several species also differed significantly in size.
Sara Marsteller, ’07 Alliance, NE
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Spanish
Iowa State University
Sponsor: Marty Condon