Horizons 2023 - Evolution and Diversification of Butterflies and Moths

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Horizons 2023 - Evolution and Diversification of Butterflies and Moths

A Spring Speaker Series Sponsored by the Tallahassee Scientific Society

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Challenger Learning Center 200 South Duval Street Tallahassee, FL 32301

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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

May 17 • AKITO Y. KAWAHARA, Ph.D.

Professor and Curator of Lepidoptera, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Evolution and Diversification of Butterflies and Moths: Anti-Bat ultrasound jamming, acoustic deflection, and visual lures.

Butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) are one of the major superradiations of insects, comprising nearly 160,000 described extant species. As herbivores, pollinators, and prey, Lepidoptera play a fundamental role in almost every terrestrial ecosystem. Lepidoptera are also indicators of environmental change and serve as models for research on mimicry and genetics. They have been central to the development of coevolutionary hypotheses, such as butterflies with flowering plants and moths' evolutionary arms race with echolocating bats. In this presentation, Dr. Kawahara will talk about his research on the evolution of butterflies and moths, and how moths have evolved many different defenses, such as ultrasound production to combat bat attack.