26th September 17:53
Knowing as little factual relevant details as I do puts me in jeopardy of
hard-nosed specialists but here is, despite all that, a jagged (jumbled and
starting to look jaded)
jotted-down outline of my reflective (Extrapolating, Pluralistic,
The researchers think that the observed new "team strips" (visible
wing-markings) exemplify speciation by reinforcement of reproductive
[I am sure they are right. But I am also inclined to think that their
interpretation (as per the article) of how this is so
is (as scientists' interpretations often tend to be) tunnel-visioned.]
Most obviously, the team strips exemplify viable (naturally selected from by
lifetime situations) heritable variation. And they can be seen - by most
basic Evolution-Philosophical Thinking - as a result of primarily
constructively causative (i.e. what I mean by "opportunity type") instrinsic
and extrinsic (environmental) evolutionary (or positively selective)
The team strips have come to exist as part of a functurally (including, in
this contex OF COURSE, ***UALLY) adaptive
E.g., mutual marking-dependent identification of team membership (and
prospective mating partners) will of course require that necessary neural
[(adaptively) "actention paying/focusing"] functions emerged with or (which
is far more likely) before the new speciating "team strips".
An distinctly environmental (ecological) selection pressure that might
augment the speciating effect of the new 'team/marking strip' (and of many
other similar viable heritable variations) is that - given that a
first-generation 'team strip type endowment' becomes part of the phenotype
of a great enough number of individuals many enough of whome are lucky
enough to survive - it will lessen the chance that predators will be drawn
to single-out (thus less likely to naturally prune out) the members of
budding (just or barely speciated) sub-populations with such new markings
(or, for that matter, newly 'genotyped' mannerisms).
And, it seems that the article also adds yet another indicator (if rather
more indirectly so to the plausibility of that neurohormonally expressed
feed-forward mechanisms of speciation - here most specifically "species
demarcating" features - have themselves evolved and is part of many a
species of genophenotypes.
This in that (as mentioned in the article - as per the quote below), of the
species being studied, those whose members lives crowded life-styles, but
not those who sparsly populate their habitat, tend to develope more marked
The researchers managed to come up with only a very meager explanation for
this (by me presumed to be correct) observation.
Quoting the article:
"This butterfly study presents evidence that the differences in the male's
wing colouration is stronger [when the species share a habitat] than [when
they do not]," said the speciation expert Axel Meyer, from Konstanz
University in Germany.
"This pattern would therefore support the interpretation that it was brought
about by reinforcement, hence natural selection."
The reason evolution favours the emergence of a "team strip" in related
species, or sub species, living side-by-side is that hybridisation is not
usually a desirable thing.
Although many of the Agrodiaetus species are close enough genetically to
breed, their hybrid offspring tend to be rather weedy and less likely to
Therefore natural selection will favour ways of distinguishing the species,
which is why the clear markings exist.
"For me, this is a big discovery just because the system is very beautiful,"
said Dr Kandul. "As much as we can we are showing that [reinforcement] is
the most likely mechanism."
To me, the (inEPTly looming) tunnel-visionedness of this interpretation
consists of that the researcher(s)
does not look at (or perhaps looks too much straight through) the
possibility of a relevant "genetic-neural/neurohormonal-behavioral loop".