Pigmented band in Limenitis?

Sean Patrick Mullen spm23 at cornell.edu
Sun Mar 3 08:47:31 EST 2002

Hey Listers,

I'm curious as to the source of the white-banding seen in European 
and Eurasia Limenitid butterflies.  I'm working on Limenitis arthemis 
here in the states and the situation is as follows: L. a. arthemis in 
eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. have scales with no pigment 
and, hence, reflect white light. L. a. rubrofasciata, on the other 
hand, has a cream colored pigment in its medial bands.

So, my question is: Which is ancestral?  Pigmented "white" banding or 
unpigmented "white" banding?  Appreciate your thoughts.  My guess is 
that L. a. arthemis has secondarily lost pigment in these bands.

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