New Butterfly: High-alpine species from low-life parents | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


New Butterfly: High-alpine species from low-life parents

9:47am, November 29, 2006

Little bluish butterflies high in the Sierra Nevada mountains have an unusual history. Researchers report that these insects belong to one of the few animal species known to have arisen from crossbreeding of two other species.

Crossbreeding of animal species isn't unusual in itself, explains Zachariah Gompert of Texas State University in San Marcos. But the descendants of most hybrid offspring meld back into the parent species or don't compete successfully against the parental lines.

The not-yet-named butterflies in the Lycaeides genus, however, flourish in the harsh zone above the timberline, where the parent species can't cope, Gompert and his colleagues

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content