Many toxic or distasteful organisms have been known to possess conspicuous colours (aposematism), which can act as a primary defence mechanism by advertising unprofitability to potential predators. Displaying conspicuous visual signals is an important evolutionary strategy that can save time and energy of the predators via early detection of unpalatable prey, and increase prey survival through effective visual communication with the predators. Determining the functional significance of these colours in their ecologically sensible environment/habitat/interactions, and investigating the underlying mechanisms of bright colour patterns in diverse animal groups will aid in a fuller understanding of “how” and “why” these ecologically important signals may have evolved. The objective of the project is to investigate the process and mechanisms by which diverse colour forms are generated in Pachyrhynchus weevils (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae), by integrating proximate (how) and ultimate (why) mechanisms as the explanatory frameworks. Our major results showed that: (1) The existence of a sclerotised endocuticle of the weevils, and suggested its function in improving the mechanical stability of the cuticle, especially the matrix surrounding the fibres. (2) We have developed GabRat-R/RR program that significantly improve the analysis of the effect of edge disruptive camouflage effect, which can be applied in analyzing weevil’s coloration.
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2021/07/31|
- reflective spectrum
- photonic crystal
- survival experiment
- predator-prey interaction
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