Endless forms most beautiful:
A sensory ecology approach to understand the evolution of aposematic colour polymorphism

Main funder

Funder's project number: 310406

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 255 834,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2017

Project end date: 31/08/2020


Our understanding on the meaning and use of animal coloration has been accumulating over 125 years. Yet, we have a lack of knowledge on the mechanisms that initiate, shape, and maintain the variation in coloration. My approach will study patterns in spatial and temporal aspects of selection for several traits of warning coloration in the wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis). Vision modelling combined to digital photographing methods as well as predation experiments are used. The combination of surveys across global distribution of the species and phylogenetic relationships between populations is used to reconstruct evolutionary history of polymorphism to understand the spread of the colour constituents. This is important, because it will illuminate our understanding on the processes that generate and maintain diversity we see in the nature.

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Last updated on 2022-28-02 at 13:08