What Is the Progress Towards Understanding the Selection Webs Influencing Melanic Polymorphisms in Insects?
Industrial melanism refers to a correlation between high frequencies of melanic forms of an insect and regions of industrialization. This phenomenon in the peppered moth Biston betularia (L.) is the classic textbook example of the evolution of an adaptive trait in response to a changing environments involving the spread of adapted pheno-types by natural selection. The accounts include information about the central hypothesis of a change in the relative crypsis of non-melanic and melanic phenotypes due to blackening of the resting background of the moths by industrial air pollution. The entomologist, J.W. Tutt, writing at the end of the last century, presented particularly graphic descriptions of the essential features of this hypothesis (e.g. Tutt 1896). We can now ask: how much further have we actually progressed in our understanding since then and what has the theory of population genetics contributed to this understanding?
KeywordsVisual Selection Foliose Lichen Fruticose Lichen Melanic Form Pepper Moth
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Barkman JJ (1969) The influence of air pollution on bryophytes and lichens. Air pollution, PUDOC, Wageningen, pp 197–209Google Scholar
- Charnley AK (1984) Physiological aspects of destructive pathogenesis in insects by fungi: a speculative review. In: Anderson JM, Rayner ADM, Walton DWH (eds) Invertebrate microbial interactions. Cambridge Univ Press, pp 229–270Google Scholar
- Creed ER (1966) Geographic variation in the two-spot ladybird in England and Wales. Heredity 21:57–72 Creed ER (1971a) Melanism in the two-spot ladybird Adalia bipunctata in Great Britain. In: Creed ER (ed) Ecological genetics and evolution. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 134–151Google Scholar
- Ford EB (1975) Ecological genetics, 4th edn. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Götz P, Boman HG (1986) Insect immunity. In: Kerkut GA, Gilbert LI (eds) Comprehensive in sect physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, vol 8. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 453–484Google Scholar
- Kettlewell HBD (1958) The importance of the microenvironment to evolutionary trends in the Lepidoptera. Entomologist 91:214–224Google Scholar
- Kettlewell HBD (1973) The evolution of melanism. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Lees DR (1981) Industrial melanism: genetic adaptation of animals to air pollution. In: Bishop JA, Cook LM (eds) Genetic consequences of man-made change. Academic Press, London New York, pp 129–176Google Scholar
- Lusis J J (1961) On the biological meaning of colour polymorphism of lady beetle Adalia bipunctata L. Latv Ent 4:3–29Google Scholar
- Mikkola K (1979) Resting site selection of Oligia and Bistort moths (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae and Geometridae). Ann Entom Fenn 45:81–87Google Scholar
- Needham AE (1978) Insect biochromes. In: Rockstein M (ed) Biochemistry of insects. Academic Press, London New York, pp 253–305Google Scholar
- Sargent TD (1983) Melanism in Phigalia titea (Lepidoptera: Geometridae): A 14-year record from central Massachusetts. J NY Entomol Soc 91:75–82Google Scholar
- Seaward MRD, Hitch CJB (eds) Atlas of the lichens of the British Isles, vol 1. Inst Terrest Ecol, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Shellard HC (1976) Wind. In: Chandler TJ, Gregory S (eds) The climate of the British Isles. Longman, London New York, pp 39–73Google Scholar
- Tutt JW (1896) British moths. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar