How butterflies avoid inbreeding

This video says about itself:

2 October 2010

Bicyclus anynana male and female butterflies performing courtship behavior.

From Ethology:

Kin Recognition and Inbreeding Avoidance in a Butterfly


Owing to the risk of inbreeding depression, the evolution of inbreeding avoidance by means of kin recognition is expected for many biological systems. Nevertheless, an ability to distinguish among relatives and non-relatives has been only rarely demonstrated, especially so in non-social organisms.

We here show that, in the non-social tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, females discriminate against relatives by preferentially mating with non-relatives. Inbreeding avoidance was more pronounced in inbred as compared with outbred butterflies, suggesting that it is partly condition dependent. We argue that, in our system, the evolution of inbreeding avoidance is related to carrying a high genetic load and thus to being particularly sensitive to inbreeding depression.

2 thoughts on “How butterflies avoid inbreeding

  1. Pingback: Naked mole-rats, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Butterflies’ smell and evolution, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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