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Flavonoid wing pigments increase attractiveness of female common blue (Polyommatus icarus) butterflies to mate-searching males

URN to cite this document:
Burghardt, Frank ; Knüttel, Helge ; Becker, Mechthild ; Fiedler, Konrad
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Date of publication of this fulltext: 05 Aug 2009 13:35


Common blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus) sequester flavonoids from their larval host plants and allocate these UV-absorbing pigments to the wings. In field experiments using dummies constructed from female butterflies, mate-searching males inspected flavonoid-rich dummies more intensively than those with little or no flavonoids. Flavonoid content as signalled by UV-wing pattern may indicate ontogenetically determined female quality or enhance detectability to males.

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