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Why does the Yellow-eyed ensatina have yellow eyes? Batesian mimicry of Pacific newts (genus Taricha) by the salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica

Kuchta, Shawn LU ; Krakauer, Alan H and Sinervo, Barry (2008) In Evolution 62(4). p.984-990
Abstract
Color patterns commonly vary geographically within species, but it is rare that such variation corresponds with divergent antipredator strategies. The polymorphic salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii, however, may represent such a case. In this species, most subspecies are cryptically colored, whereas E. e. xanthoptica, the Yellow eyed ensatina, is hypothesized to be an aposematic mimic of highly toxic Pacific newts (genus Taricha). To test the mimicry hypothesis, we conducted feeding trials using Western Scrub-Jays, Aphelocoma californica. In every feeding trial, we found that jays, following presentation with the presumed model (T. torosa), were more hesitant to contact the presumed mimic (E. e. xanthoptica) than a control subspecies... (More)
Color patterns commonly vary geographically within species, but it is rare that such variation corresponds with divergent antipredator strategies. The polymorphic salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii, however, may represent such a case. In this species, most subspecies are cryptically colored, whereas E. e. xanthoptica, the Yellow eyed ensatina, is hypothesized to be an aposematic mimic of highly toxic Pacific newts (genus Taricha). To test the mimicry hypothesis, we conducted feeding trials using Western Scrub-Jays, Aphelocoma californica. In every feeding trial, we found that jays, following presentation with the presumed model (T. torosa), were more hesitant to contact the presumed mimic (E. e. xanthoptica) than a control subspecies lacking the postulated aposematic colors (E. e. oregonensis). The median time to contact was 315 sec for the mimic and 52 sec for the control. These results support the mimicry hypothesis, and we suggest that E. e. xanthoptica is likely a Batesian mimic, rather a Mullerian or quasi-Batesian mimic, of Pacific newts. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
ring species, Taricha, Western Scrub-Jay, quasi-Batesian mimicry, predation, Mullerian mimicry, Batesian mimicry, Ensatina eschscholtzii
in
Evolution
volume
62
issue
4
pages
984 - 990
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000254640900022
  • scopus:41749114502
ISSN
1558-5646
DOI
10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00338.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f2a8bd4e-bea6-44e9-add4-36b3e98e7105 (old id 1207500)
date added to LUP
2008-08-27 09:49:48
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:50:53
@article{f2a8bd4e-bea6-44e9-add4-36b3e98e7105,
  abstract     = {Color patterns commonly vary geographically within species, but it is rare that such variation corresponds with divergent antipredator strategies. The polymorphic salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii, however, may represent such a case. In this species, most subspecies are cryptically colored, whereas E. e. xanthoptica, the Yellow eyed ensatina, is hypothesized to be an aposematic mimic of highly toxic Pacific newts (genus Taricha). To test the mimicry hypothesis, we conducted feeding trials using Western Scrub-Jays, Aphelocoma californica. In every feeding trial, we found that jays, following presentation with the presumed model (T. torosa), were more hesitant to contact the presumed mimic (E. e. xanthoptica) than a control subspecies lacking the postulated aposematic colors (E. e. oregonensis). The median time to contact was 315 sec for the mimic and 52 sec for the control. These results support the mimicry hypothesis, and we suggest that E. e. xanthoptica is likely a Batesian mimic, rather a Mullerian or quasi-Batesian mimic, of Pacific newts.},
  author       = {Kuchta, Shawn and Krakauer, Alan H and Sinervo, Barry},
  issn         = {1558-5646},
  keyword      = {ring species,Taricha,Western Scrub-Jay,quasi-Batesian mimicry,predation,Mullerian mimicry,Batesian mimicry,Ensatina eschscholtzii},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {984--990},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Evolution},
  title        = {Why does the Yellow-eyed ensatina have yellow eyes? Batesian mimicry of Pacific newts (genus Taricha) by the salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00338.x},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2008},
}