Imitação sem modelos: causas e consequências de alopatria em complexos batesianos de imitação

quinta-feira, maio 20, 2010

Mimics without models: causes and consequences of allopatry in Batesian mimicry complexes

David W. Pfennig1,* and Sean P. Mullen2

-Author Affiliations

1Department of Biology, CB no. 3280, Coker Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

2Department of Biological Sciences, Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University,Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA

*Author for correspondence (


Batesian mimicry evolves when a palatable species (the ‘mimic’) co-opts a warning signal from a dangerous species (the ‘model’) and thereby deceives its potential predators. Longstanding theory predicts that this protection from predation should break down where the model is absent. Thus, mimics are expected to only co-occur with their model. Yet, many mimics violate this prediction and occur in areas where their model is absent. Here, we discuss the causes and consequences of such allopatric mimics. We also describe how these ‘rule-bending’ mimics provide critical insights into diverse topics ranging from how Batesian mimicry evolves to its possible role in speciation.

mimicry    predation    speciation    gene flow    species ranges


Received March 19, 2010.
Accepted April 30, 2010.
© 2010 The Royal Society