peppered moth

(redirected from Biston betularia)
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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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Linkage map of the peppered moth, Biston betularia (Lepidoptera, Geometridae): A model of industrial melanism.
According to Kettlewell (1958b) Biston betularia (Geometridae) is one of about 70 species of British macrolepidoptera whose wing patterns fluctuate from light to dark, depending upon the degree of air pollution in their area, in order to enhance crypsis.
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.
Majerus asserted that we must dismiss industrial melanism in Biston Betularia (peppered moths) as an exemplar of natural selection but that the basic tenets of ecological genetics and evolution forwarded by Kettlewell and ford still stood firm.
The classic example of a Darwinian event is the pollution arising from the industrial revolution that resulted in the dark form of peppered moths (Biston betularia) predominating over the light form.