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Different species show identical patterns?

At honest broker of media releases ScienceDaily (Jan. 11, 2011), we learn that

“Catfish Study Reveals Multiplicity of Species” — Peer into any stream in a South American rainforest and you may well see a small shoal of similar-looking miniature catfish. But don’t be fooled into thinking that they are all the same species.

Promise, I won’t be fooled.

An extensive investigation of South American Corydoras catfish, reveals that catfish communities- although containing almost identically coloured and patterned fish, could actually contain three or more different species.

Establishing for the first time that many species are mimetic; that is, they evolve to share the same colour patterns for mutual benefit- the research also established that each individual community of similar looking fish comprised species belonging to different genetic lineages, but still adopting similar colour patterns.

What theory of species formation would this find best support? Plato’s theory of forms?

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2 Responses to Different species show identical patterns?

  1. Maybe this is an example of front loading through different lines. Same instructions resulting in the same pattern but expressed in different species.

  2. What theory of species formation would this find best support? Plato’s theory of forms?

    No, either theories of Müllerian or Batesian mimmicry. A lot of work has been done on it, mainly in butterflies (also in South America, actually). I suspect Wikipedia will be more useful than Conserapedia if you want to learn more. :-)

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