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The courtship of Phyciodes, and the relationship between Phyciodes tharos tharos and Phyciodes tharos morpheus (=pascoensis) in Colorado


The courtship of Phyciodes tharos/morpheus and P. campestris is described, and is very similar between species. Reared released female morpheus courted and mated readily with wild male tharos in Colorado. Together with the viability and fertility of the hybrids and the breakdown of the antennal and larval characters that distinguish them in W.Va.-Va. (where they behave as separate species), this evidence indicates that tharos/morpheus are not reproductively isolated in Colorado, where they seem to be a bit more than subspecies, but are not completely distinct species. Phyciodes have an interesting outcrossing mechanism involving timing of adult emergence, which ensures rapid spread of genes between parent forms after natural hybridization.


March 5, 1986.
Includes bibliographical references (page 7).

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