Seasonal variation in wing pattern of the tropical butterfly, Bicyclus dorothea across habitat in Cameroon - Wet season in Ndikinimeki

Many organisms exhibit changes in phenotypic traits as a response to seasonal environmental variation. We investigated the role of habitat in generating seasonal polyphenism in different populations of the light bush brown butterfly Bicyclus dorothea (Cramer, 1779) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in Cameroon. Butterflies were caught during the wet and dry seasons across four localities representing two distinct habitats, namely forest and ecotone (forest–savanna transition zone) over a 2-yr period (2015–2016). We found distinct variation in the wing pattern characteristics of butterflies in response to seasonality and habitat. Specifically we observed that: 1) all wing characters are not seasonally plastic in B. dorothea; 2) populations from ecotone tend to be more variable, with individuals exhibiting wings with large spots during the wet season and very reduced spots in the dry season while in forest populations, individuals exhibit wings with large spots during the wet season, but in the dry season, spots are not as greatly reduced as their ecotone counterparts; 3) this polyphenism in B. dorothea alternated consistently during the wet and dry seasons over the 2 yr of sampling. Bicyclus species have become a textbook example of seasonal polyphenism while this study extends this model system to the unique forest–ecotone gradient of Central Africa and demonstrates the complexity of seasonal forms in different habitats

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Additional Info

Field Value
Creator Dongmo, Michel
Creator Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0002-0509-5227
Subject Vocab (AGROVOC/GACS/CAB) Butterfly,Wings,Ecotones,Forest,Dry season,Lepidoptera
Subject(s) Polyphenism,Bicyclus dorothea
Publisher International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person Hanna, Rachid; Bonebrake, Timothy C.; Fomena, Abraham
Contributor Role Supervisor
Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor CRP CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Contributor Partner Not Applicable
Contributor Donor National Science Foundation, Conservation Action Research Network (CARN)
Contributor Project PIRE project
Contributor Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2016-06-26
Embargo End Date
Content Type Dataset
File Format csv
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier https://doi.org/10.25502/fmwp-2y16/d
Identifier Citation Dongmo, M. A., Bonebrake, T. C., Hanna, R., & Fomena, A. 2018. Seasonal Polyphenism in Bicyclus dorothea (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) Across Different Habitats in Cameroon. Environmental entomology, 47(6): 1601-1608.
Source PIRE project
Language English
Relation Not applicable
Agroecological Zone Humid warm tropics
Coverage Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Coverage country Cameroon
Coverage Admin Unit Not applicable
Coverage X 4.77117
Coverage Y 10.82822
Coverage Start Date 2015-05-21
Coverage End Date 2016-06-26
Contact Dongmo, Michel
Contact Email m.dongmo@cgiar.org
Restriction CC-BY 4.0
Email Permission Not applicable
Rights CC-BY 4.0