Re: Peppered moths in a light cream sauce

Tim Ikeda (
Thu, 01 Apr 1999 22:49:48 -0500

Perhaps I missed it in the recent blizzard of posts, but one alternative
that I don't recall seeing is that the trait (perhaps neutral) could
be linked to another which was under selection. To me, this sounds
at least as reasonable an hypothesis as enviromentally-induced,
inherited melanism.

I'm not at all familiar with the observational data: It there good
evidence that the dark-colored moths experienced some sort of "drive"
in their relative abundance that was coincident with blackening
pollution? I assume this is the case, given that the alternatives
discussed are all trying to account for the change in the population.

If one were looking for a textbook replacement for selection in
the peppered moth, what might be a good candidate? Tail size and
coloration in guppies? Diversification/specialization of stickleback
species in mixed environments? Changes in the reproductive cycles
of farm weeds? Personally, I think guppies would be the most
photogenic... (I'd choose a bacterial example first, but I'm biased)

Tim Ikeda (despam address before use)