Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Eyespot display in the peacock butterfly triggers antipredator behaviors in naïve adult fowl
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4352-6275
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Show others and affiliations
2013 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279, Vol. 24, no 1, 305-310 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Large conspicuous eyespots have evolved in multiple taxa and presumably function to thwart predator attacks. Traditionally,large eyespots were thought to discourage predator attacks because they mimicked eyes of the predators’ own predators.However, this idea is controversial and the intimidating properties of eyespots have recently been suggested to simply be a consequenceof their conspicuousness. Some lepidopteran species include large eyespots in their antipredation repertoire. In thepeacock butterfly, Inachis io, eyespots are typically hidden during rest and suddenly exposed by the butterfly when disturbed.Previous experiments have shown that small wild passerines are intimidated by this display. Here, we test whether eyespots alsointimidate a considerably larger bird, domestic fowl, Gallus gallus domesticus, by staging interactions between birds and peacockbutterflies that were sham-painted or had their eyespots painted over. Our results show that birds typically fled when peacockbutterflies performed their display regardless of whether eyespots were visible or painted over. However, birds confronting butterflieswith visible eyespots delayed their return to the butterfly, were more vigilant, and more likely to utter alarm calls associatedwith detection of ground-based predators, compared with birds confronting butterflies with eyespots painted over. Becauseproduction of alarm calls and increased vigilance are antipredation behaviors in the fowl, their reaction suggests that eyespotsmay elicit fear rather than just an aversion to conspicuous patterns. Our results, therefore, suggest that predators perceive largelepidopteran eyespots as belonging to the eyes of a potential predator. Key words: chicken, predator–prey interactions, startledisplay.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2013. Vol. 24, no 1, 305-310 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91447DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ars167OAI: diva2:617946
Available from: 2013-04-25 Created: 2013-04-25 Last updated: 2014-11-28

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(444 kB)119 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 444 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Løvlie, Hanne
By organisation
BiologyThe Institute of Technology
In the same journal
Behavioral Ecology
Natural Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 119 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 46 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link