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News From the Field

Caught in the Act: Butterfly Mate Preference Shows How One Species Can Become Two


November 5, 2009

a white male butterfly Breaking up may not be hard to do, say scientists who've found a population of tropical butterflies that may be splitting into two distinct species. The cause of this particular break-up? A shift in wing color and mate preference. In a paper published this week in the journal Science, the researchers describe the relationship between diverging color patterns in Heliconius butterflies and the long-term divergence of populations into new and distinct species. Full Story

Source
University of Texas at Austin

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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