The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

A model for colour pattern formation in the buttery wing of Papilio dardanus

Sekimura, T. and Madzvamuse, A. and Wathen, A. J. and Maini, P. K. (2000) A model for colour pattern formation in the buttery wing of Papilio dardanus. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B, 267 (1446). pp. 851-859.



The butterfly Papilio dardanus is well known for the spectacular phenotypic polymorphism in the female of the species. We show that numerical simulations of a reaction diffusion model on a geometrically accurate wing domain produce spatial patterns that are consistent with many of those observed on the butterfly. Our results suggest that the wing coloration is due to a simple underlying stripe-like pattern of some pigment-inducing morphogen. We focus on the effect of key factors such as parameter values for mode selection, threshold values which determine colour, wing shape and boundary conditions. The generality of our approach should allow us to investigate other butterfly species. The relationship between these key factors and gene activities is discussed in the context of recent biological advances.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Colour Pattern Formation Butterfly Wing Papilio Dardanus Reaction Diffusion Gierer-Meinhardt Finite Elements
Subjects:A - C > Biology and other natural sciences
Research Groups:Centre for Mathematical Biology
ID Code:415
Deposited By: Philip Maini
Deposited On:22 Nov 2006
Last Modified:29 May 2015 18:21

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