Mark Walker MWalker at
Wed Sep 9 19:48:54 EDT 1998

In response to Doug Yanega's post:

O.K., so you're suggesting that in some cases the need for wings goes away
and thus the species either lose the wings or they stop using them.  How
does that in any way prove that wings have no purpose for the remaining
99.9%?  I don't see how any intelligent person can possibly think that
natural selection is a viable explanation for how insects which DO use their
wings came about having them.  Unless, of course, one has no other
explanation to fall back upon.  Are we suggesting that there exists some
sort of spontaneous metamorphosis gene available for random body form
changing, and that after trial and error and survival of the fittest that by
chance a worm that had no way of reproducing suddenly solved all of it's
problems by becoming a winged creature? 

And I also don't see how any metamorphosis can be deemed to be simple.  It's
mind boggling.

Mark Walker.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	dyanega at [SMTP:dyanega at]
> Sent:	Wednesday, September 09, 1998 4:55 PM
> To:	LEPS-L at
> Subject:	RE: Wings
> >I would think that the best empirical evidence of purpose in butterfly
> wings
> >would be the huge cost associated with metamorphosis.
> Many Orthopteroids have wings, and they have pretty simple metamorphosis.
> The *ancestors* of butterflies had wings, so butterflies do. You can't
> answer anything that way.
>         You want to look for *proximate* explanations, then examine
> species
> which have lost their wings, or simply don't fly, and ask "What is
> different about the ecology of these insects?". In general, you'll find
> they are insects which have either lost the need to disperse altogether
> (there are MANY high-altitude or island endemics lacking wings) or have
> one
> sex or life stage which does disperse, while the other does not. This does
> obviously include several Lepidoptera, including things like the gypsy
> moth
> (females have wings but don't use them), so questions of energetics of
> metamorphosis fall far short.
> Peace,
> Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
> Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG
> phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-499-2567  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

More information about the Leps-l mailing list