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Data from: Leaf-footed bugs possess multiple hidden contrasting color signals, but only one is associated with increased body size

Citation

Emberts, Zachary et al. (2021), Data from: Leaf-footed bugs possess multiple hidden contrasting color signals, but only one is associated with increased body size, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.wdbrv15kk

Abstract

Anti-predatory displays that incorporate hidden contrasting coloration are found in a variety of different animals. These displays are seen in organisms that have drab coloration at rest, but when disturbed reveal conspicuous coloration. Examples include the bright abdomens of mountain katydids and the colorful underwings of hawk moths. Such hidden displays can function as secondary defenses, enabling evasion of a pursuant predator. To begin to understand why some species have these displays while others do not, we conducted phylogenetic comparative analyses to investigate factors associated with the evolution of hidden contrasting coloration in leaf-footed bugs. First, we investigated whether hidden contrasting coloration was associated with body size because these displays are considered to be more effective in larger organisms. We then investigated whether hidden contrasting coloration was associated with an alternative anti-predatory defense, in this case rapid autotomy. We found that leaf-footed bugs with hidden contrasting coloration tended to autotomize more slowly, but this result was not statistically significant. We also found that the presence of a body size association was dependent upon the form of the hidden color display. Leaf-footed bugs that reveal red/orange coloration were the same size, on average, as species without a hidden color display. However, species that reveal white patches on a black background were significantly larger than species without a hidden color display. These results highlight the diversity of forms that hidden contrasting color signal can take, upon which selection may act differently.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1553100

National Science Foundation, Award: DBI-1907051