Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Deflective and intimidating eyespots: a comparative study of eyespot size and position in Junonia butterflies
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), India.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3245-0850
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6319-009X
2013 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 3, no 13, 4518-4524 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Eyespots are conspicuous circular features found on the wings of several lepidopteran insects. Two prominent hypotheses have been put forth explaining their function in an antipredatory role. The deflection hypothesis posits that eyespots enhance survival in direct physical encounters with predators by deflecting attacks away from vital parts of the body, whereas the intimidation hypothesis posits that eyespots are advantageous by scaring away a potential predator before an attack. In the light of these two hypotheses, we investigated the evolution of eyespot size and its interaction with position and number within a phylogenetic context in a group of butterflies belonging to the genus Junonia. We found that larger eyespots tend to be found individually, rather than in serial dispositions. Larger size and conspicuousness make intimidating eyespots more effective, and thus, we suggest that our results support an intimidation function in some species of Junonia with solitary eyespots. Our results also show that smaller eyespots in Junonia are located closer to the wing margin, thus supporting predictions of the deflection hypothesis. The interplay between size, position, and arrangement of eyespots in relation to antipredation and possibly sexual selection, promises to be an interesting field of research in the future. Similarly, further comparative work on the evolution of absolute eyespot size in natural populations of other butterfly groups is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, no 13, 4518-4524 p.
Keyword [en]
Butterflies, deflection, eyespots, intimidation, Junonia, Junonia almana
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97657DOI: 10.1002/ece3.831ISI: 000326824300020OAI: diva2:680406


Available from: 2013-12-18 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lindenfors, PatrikTullberg, Birgitta S.
By organisation
Department of Zoology
In the same journal
Ecology and Evolution
Environmental SciencesEcology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 67 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link