News of the WeekEvolution

Hidden Genetic Variation Yields Caterpillar of a Different Color

Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 591
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5761.591a

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Tomato hornworm caterpillars emerge green when temperatures are above 28°C and black when it's cooler. Now two insect physiologists report on page 650 that they have teased out a possible genetic basis of this color change by breeding a mutant strain of a related species, the tobacco hornworm, until it undergoes a similar switch. (Read more.)