Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Keeping the band together: evidence for false boundary disruptive coloration in a butterfly


Seymoure, Brett M.; Aiello, Annette (2015), Data from: Keeping the band together: evidence for false boundary disruptive coloration in a butterfly, Dryad, Dataset,


There is a recent surge of evidence supporting disruptive coloration, in which patterns break up the animal's outline through false edges or boundaries, increasing survival in animals by reducing predator detection and/or preventing recognition. Though research has demonstrated that false edges are successful for reducing predation of prey, research into the role of internal false boundaries (i.e., stripes and bands) in reducing predation remains warranted. Many animals, have stripes and bands that may function disruptively. Here we test the possible disruptive function of wing band patterning in a butterfly, Anartia fatima, using artificial paper and plasticine models in Panama. We manipulated the band so that one model type had the band shifted to the wing margin (non-disruptive treatment) and another model had a discontinuous band located on the wing margin (discontinuous edge treatment). We kept the natural wing pattern to represent the false boundary treatment. Across all treatment groups, we standardized the area of color and used avian visual models to confirm a match between manipulated and natural wing colors. False boundary models had higher survival than either the discontinuous edge model or the non-disruptive model. There was no survival difference between the discontinuous edge model and the non-disruptive model. Our results demonstrate the importance of wing bands in reducing predation on butterflies and show that markings set in from the wing margin can reduce predation more effectively than marginal bands and discontinuous marginal patterns. This study demonstrates an adaptive benefit of having stripes and bands.

Usage Notes


Central America