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1 January 2015 The Marginal Band System in Nymphalid Butterfly Wings
Wataru Taira, Seira Kinjo, Joji M. Otaki
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Butterfly wing color patterns are highly complex and diverse, but they are believed to be derived from the nymphalid groundplan, which is composed of several color pattern systems. Among these pattern systems, the marginal band system, including marginal and submarginal bands, has rarely been studied. Here, we examined the color pattern diversity of the marginal band system among nymphalid butterflies. Marginal and submarginal bands are usually expressed as a pair of linear bands aligned with the wing margin. However, a submarginal band can be expressed as a broken band, an elongated oval, or a single dot. The marginal focus, usually a white dot at the middle of a wing compartment along the wing edge, corresponds to the pupal edge spot, one of the pupal cuticle spots that signify the locations of color pattern organizing centers. A marginal band can be expressed as a semicircle, an elongated oval, or a pair of eyespot-like structures, which suggest the organizing activity of the marginal focus. Physical damage at the pupal edge spot leads to distal dislocation of the submarginal band in Junonia almana and in Vanessa indica, suggesting that the marginal focus functions as an organizing center for the marginal band system. Taken together, we conclude that the marginal band system is developmentally equivalent to other symmetry systems. Additionally, the marginal band is likely a core element and the submarginal band a paracore element of the marginal band system, and both bands are primarily specified by the marginal focus organizing center.

© 2015 Zoological Society of Japan
Wataru Taira, Seira Kinjo, and Joji M. Otaki "The Marginal Band System in Nymphalid Butterfly Wings," Zoological Science 32(1), 38-46, (1 January 2015).
Received: 24 March 2014; Accepted: 1 October 2014; Published: 1 January 2015

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