Saturday, October 16, 2004

Hiding in plain sight -- Part 4


It is easy enough to understand how natural selection might provide a butterfly with protective coloration, or even wings with the shape and vein pattern of a leaf. Computer simulations show that these things can happen with surprising alacrity.

But most butterflies spend their reproductive lives among live foliage. How come the Dead Leaf butterfly is not a Green Leaf butterfly? Can someone with knowledge of tropical lepidoptera help?

And, by the way, Kallima has beautifully colored upper wings. Flashily fit for finding a partner with wings unfurled; slyly disguised when resting, wings folded, on a tree.