Painted white pustynny defected to light tiles

Pustynia (representative of locust) picks up the environment for painting their bodies for camouflage. If insect recolor, it will be to choose the area with which to merge. The authors of the work published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, noted that this adaptive mechanism was the first to detect under natural conditions.

Animals can disguise itself in the environment in three ways: to purchase the desired color in result of natural selection, to change the body color depending on the environment or to choose according to their own color. The first two mechanisms are well studied, and the study of the latter only develops.

To select the area under your own color, you must evaluate your phenotype and associate it with the environment. To explore this process difficult, because you need to understand, what do animals selecting habitats: genetic programs or assessment of their own appearance, and to separate this mechanism from other interactions of the phenotype and external environment.

Spanish scientists from the University Pablo de Olavide, under the leadership of Edelaar PIM (Pim Edelaar) followed by the location of pustyni sphingonotus’s azurescens (representative of the locust). These insects are found on various substrates, from sandy soils to the city sidewalks, their color often matches the color of the substrate (from black to light gray and from blue to orange-brown).

For the experiment, the researchers used the street near a deserted village: the roads have already started to grow grass, and the locust have chosen this place. The roadway of the streets were covered with dark asphalt and the Parking lots and sidewalks are made of concrete and tiles. In this area caught postinit, determined their sex and color (shade of gray from 0 white to 100 black), and then with a marker wrote on the wings of a unique combination of letters — “name” of an insect. Such a label by using the binoculars you could see from a distance, and to distinguish between insects, there was no need to approach them close.

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