A Discovery of the Heritability of Female Mosaic Color-Morphism in the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Pterourus (Papilio) glaucus (C. Linnaeus 1758) (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae)

  • David L. Perlman Department of Biology, Judson University, Elgin, IL U.S.A.
  • Marc P. Perlman


This paper is the second of two papers documenting continuing experimentation on the North American Swallowtail butterfly Pterourus (Papilio) glaucus (C. Linnaeus 1758). The first paper presented the results of coldshock experiments conducted on P. glaucus over multiple generations, and identified many previously unknown coldshock-induced aberrant wing patterns. During the course of these coldshock experiments, several mosaic color-morph females were randomly produced. This second paper details breeding experiments conducted on descendents of these ancestrally coldshocked lineage mosaic color-morph females over the course of six generations. In this experiment, it was discovered that this type of mosaicism is not only heritable, but that it can also occur in conjunction with the various types of coldshock aberrations that were produced in the first experiment in this series. In addition to the female mosaic color-morphs bred during the course of this experiment, a heritable mosaic orange aberration occurred in several of the male individuals. Although it is presumed that this orange mosaic aberration is unrelated to the female mosaic color-morph aberrations, as a possible consequence of inbreeding, the male orange mosaic aberration was produced in some female mosaic color-morph individuals resulting in “mosaic-within-a-mosaic” aberrations. A discussion and limited analysis of each of the observed mosaic aberrations is presented here, and an attempt is made to categorize some of the mosaic patterns obtained. Finally, a group of female individuals that exhibit both coldshock and mosaic color-morph aberrations is presented.