Abstract: Adaptations to “thermal time” (=Degree-day) constraints on developmental rates and voltinism for North American tiger swallowtail butterflies involve most life stages, and at higher latitudes include: smaller pupae/adults; larger eggs; oviposition on most nutritious larval host plants; earlier spring adult emergences; faster larval growth and shorter molting durations at lower temperatures. Here we report on forewing sizes through 30 years for both the northern univoltine P. canadensis (with obligate diapause) from the Great Lakes historical hybrid zone northward to central Alaska (65° N latitude), and the multivoltine, P. glaucus from this hybrid zone southward to central Florida (27° N latitude). Despite recent climate warming, no increases in mean forewing lengths of P. glaucus were observed at any major collection location (FL to MI) from the 1980s to 2013 across this long latitudinal transect (which reflects the “converse of Bergmann’s size Rule”, with smaller females at higher latitudes). Unlike lower latitudes, the Alaska, Ontonogon, and Chippewa/Mackinac locations (for P. canadensis) showed no significant increases in D-day accumulations, which could explain lack of size change in these northernmost locations. As a result of 3–4 decades of empirical data from major collection sites across these latitudinal clines of North America, a general “voltinism/size/D-day” model is presented, which more closely predicts female size based on D-day accumulations, than does latitude. However, local “climatic cold pockets” in northern Michigan and Wisconsin historically appeared to exert especially strong size constraints on female forewing lengths, but forewing lengths quickly increased with local summer warming during the recent decade, especially near the warming edges of the cold pockets. Results of fine-scale analyses of these “cold pockets” are in contrast to non-significant changes for other Papilio populations seen across the latitudinal transect for P. glaucus and P. canadensis in general, highlighting the importance of scale in adaptations to climate change. Furthermore, we also show that rapid size increases in cold pocket P. canadensis females with recent summer warming are more likely to result from phenotypic plasticity than genotypic introgression from P. glaucus, which does increase size in late-flight hybrids and P. appalachiensis.
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Scriber, J.M.; Elliot, B.; Maher, E.; McGuire, M.; Niblack, M. Adaptations to “Thermal Time” Constraints in Papilio: Latitudinal and Local Size Clines Differ in Response to Regional Climate Change. Insects 2014, 5, 199-226.
Scriber JM, Elliot B, Maher E, McGuire M, Niblack M. Adaptations to “Thermal Time” Constraints in Papilio: Latitudinal and Local Size Clines Differ in Response to Regional Climate Change. Insects. 2014; 5(1):199-226.
Scriber, J. M.; Elliot, Ben; Maher, Emily; McGuire, Molly; Niblack, Marjie. 2014. "Adaptations to “Thermal Time” Constraints in Papilio: Latitudinal and Local Size Clines Differ in Response to Regional Climate Change." Insects 5, no. 1: 199-226.