peppered moth

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Related to Biston betularia: Peppered moth

peppered moth

n
(Animals) a European geometrid moth, Biston betularia, occurring in a pale grey speckled form in rural areas and a black form in industrial regions. See also melanism1
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However, if adaptation largely explains variation in cell size across habitats, then saying that small plants have small vessels because they have small fusiform cambial initials is akin to saying "after the advent of the Industrial Revolution, melanistic Biston betularia showed dark coloration due to a significant increase in the productions of dark pigmentation" rather than giving an explanation involving selection favoring dark mutants on sooty trunks.
Once upon a time, the pale version of English peppered moth, Biston betularia, was naturally camouflaged to match lichens that grew on birch trees.
About the same time that Charles Darwin was tracking finches of the Galapagos to make his case for natural selection, a mutant form of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, appeared on trees in the industrialized midlands of England.