Biology Bulletin Reviews

, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp 421–430 | Cite as

Model of early evolution of aposematic coloration

  • V. I. Grabovskii


The first stages of the evolution of aposematic coloration include a region of negative selection. During these stages, individuals with aberrant coloration remain rare, while predators are still not able to associate coloration with inedibility. A simulation model is proposed in which this problematic zone is overcome by individual selection to increase the conspicuousness of inedible prey in a small unisexual population. It is shown that, under this assumption, aposematic coloration develops within a wide range of parameters, such as the cost of inedibility, the cost of coloring, the survival rate of inedible prey after being attacked by a naive predator, and the probability of discovering of differently colored preys by predator, as well as the predator’s learning rate and memory depth. Thus, the early evolution of aposematic coloration does not require any unusual or unique set of circumstances; aposematic coloration, along with concomitant Bates mimicry, inevitably evolve within a wide range of initial conditions. Thus, the early evolution of aposematic coloration does not require any unusual or unique set of circumstances; aposematic coloration, along with concomitant Bates mimicry, inevitably evolves within a wide range of initial conditions. The loss of cryptic coloration by the original form, (e.g., due to a change in food preferences and, thus, the structure of the background coloring, changes in the habitat structure, color mutations, etc.) is one such condition.


Biology Bulletin Review Predator Attack Memory Length Pheno Type Cryptic Coloration 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Problems of Ecology and Productivity of ForestsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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