Article: article from journal or magazin.
Adaptive colour polymorphism of Acrida ungarica H. (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in a spatially heterogeneous environment
Intra-specific colour polymorphism provides a cryptic camouflage from predators in heterogeneous habitats. The orthoptera species, Acrida ungarica (Herbst, 1786) possess two well-distinguished colour morphs: brown and green and displays several disruptive colouration patterns within each morph to improve the crypsis. This study focused on how the features of the background environment relate to the proportion of the two morphs and to the intensity of disruptive colouration patterns in A. ungarica. As the two sexes are very distinct with respect to mass and length, we also distinctively tested the relationship for each sex. In accordance with the background matching hypothesis, we found that, for both sexes, the brown morph was in higher proportion at sites with a brown-dominant environment, and green morphs were in higher proportion in green-dominant environments. Globally, individuals in drier sites and in the drier year also had more intense disruptive colouration patterns, and brown morphs and females were also more striped. Colour patterns differed largely between populations and were significantly correlated with relevant environmental features. Even if A. ungarica is a polymorphic specialist, disruptive colouration still appears to provide strong benefits, particularly in some habitats. Moreover, because females are larger, they are less able to flee, which might explain the difference between sexes
Background matching, Crypsis, Disruptive colouration, Aposematism, Camouflage
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