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Comparative morphology and evolution of the male secondary sexual organs in Neotropical Satyrinae butterflies

Grant number: 19/14735-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 23, 2020
Effective date (End): June 22, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:André Victor Lucci Freitas
Grantee:Thamara Zacca Bispo Taumaturgo
Supervisor abroad: Robert Kanner Robbins
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/02264-6 - Comparative and evolutionary morphology of wing scent organs in Satyrinae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea), BP.PD


Lepidoptera scales (or macrotrichia) are cuticular projections with variable forms, shapes and functions, including enhancing impermeability to water, aiding in aerodynamics during flight, and playing a role in visual or chemical sexual communication. Some specialized scales found only in males are termed androconia and have a presume function in releasing pheromones. As several other terms are also applied to these scales, with no consensus in the literature, we herein use the term male secondary sexual organs which is a broad definition applied to other groups of animals, and it is intimately tied to the theory of sexual selection. Male secondary sexual organs may be located in many parts of the lepidoptera body but are most commonly located on the wings. Only a small fraction of butterflies have yet been studied in regard to the macro and ultrastructural morphologies of the male secondary sexual organs, mainly in the Neotropical region, and few studies have yet investigated the evolution of such scales in a phylogenetic context. The purpose of this project is to conduct a comparative survey on the morphology of the male secondary sexual organs in Neotropical Satyrinae butterflies, to provide novel insights into their structure and to map scales types onto a phylogeny to propose a hypothesis about their origin and diversification. Additionally, we intend to test if: 1) the evolutionary gain of the male secondary sexual organs increases diversification of Satyrinae genera or its loss decreases diversification, 2) isolating mechanisms among related sympatric species are due to differences in male primary (= genitalia) or secondary sexual organs, and 3) there is correlation between the habitat preference and the presence/absence of the male secondary sexual organs in Satyrinae.