peppered moth


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peppered moth

the moth Biston betularia, which has been extensively studied in many areas of Britain. Its coloration is of two main types: peppered (a mixture of white and grey) and melanic (dark brown), the relative proportion of the two colour types in an area being related to the amount of atmospheric pollution. The colour forms are an example of a GENETIC POLYMORPHISM controlled by a single gene with two ALLELES, the allele for melanism being dominant. see INDUSTRIAL MELANISM.
References in periodicals archive ?
I first encountered the peppered moth (from a scientific, rather than bumping into light-fittings, perspective) back in 1987 - when, just three weeks before the birth of my first child (which I know is pretty bonkers timing - sorry Lukey), I embarked on an Open University degree.
Peppered moths and some copycat butterflies owe their color changes to a single gene, two new studies suggest.
In The Peppered Moth, Drabble explores the idea of a depressive gene--something she returns to in this "oblique memoir" (Telegraph [UK], 4/19/2009).
For example, in the peppered moth story described above, if the air in Britain had remained so polluted for another 200 years, it is possible that the peppered moth gene for white would have been lost entirely from the species' genetic pool, or if the environment had never become become cleaner, all moths would be eaten and their bird predator would have to start eating other insects or become extinct as well.
Before we contrast what happened to alleles for the dark morph (dominant) versus the wild type (recessive) in the peppered moth story, let us predict which should be more "responsive" to selection.
Keith Regan says: "The peppered moth is quite common and there is every chance people will have the caterpillars in their gardens.
Some try to avoid being seen altogether by using camouflage to blend in against a background, such as the peppered moth evolving motley wings that blend into tree bark, or stick insects that look like sticks.
The Peppered Moth evolved during a time of industrial pollution, changing from a white to a much darker colour to make it harder for predators to spot.
Huxley, and Gregor Mendel; the expression "survival of the fittest"; the 'icons' of human evolution--Neanderthal, Java, and Peking Man; evolution of the peppered moth and the horse; and the history of dinosaurs.
In the now notorious case of the peppered moth they (Kettlewell and ford) argued that variations in wing colouring were directly linked to species-preservation through a process of self-induced pigmentation, which allowed for greater camouflage (or crypsis) against predators and could therefore account for a proportionate increase or decrease in moth populations.
Of moths and men: an evolutionary tale; the untold story of science and the peppered moth.
The Peppered Moth has attracted a great deal of attention in England because of Margaret Drabble's and her sister A.