CE02 - Terre vivante

All is fair in love and war: adaptive chemical diversity, and its role in mimicry and ecological speciation – SEXBOMB

Submission summary

Our understanding of how biodiversity comes about is surprisingly limited. Studies of ecological adaptation and speciation can be useful but have focused almost exclusively on conspicuous visual or auditory signals, and replicated studies across species and adaptive traits are needed to understand the ubiquitousness and conditions under which local adaptation can lead to speciation. Here I propose to assess the role and importance of chemical signal composition, a generally overlooked and inconspicuous trait, in a tribe of chemically defended butterflies (Ithomiini:Nymphalidae) showing remarkable ecological flexibility and novelty. The current project proposes to 1) disentangle the role of evolutionary history and ecological adaptation, 2) determine how chemical composition relates to other functional and ecological traits, and 3) ascertain how receivers, be they predators and/or potential mates, influence chemical signal composition, potentially driving mimicry and ecological speciation.

Project coordination

Melanie McClure (Laboratoire écologie, évolution, interactions des systèmes amazoniens)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LEEISA Laboratoire écologie, évolution, interactions des systèmes amazoniens

Help of the ANR 341,591 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: June 2022 - 48 Months

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