Male-killing in African butterflies

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Sami Saeed M. Hassan *
Eihab Idris
(*) Corresponding Author:
Sami Saeed M. Hassan | samisaeedmh@yahoo.com

Abstract

Female-biased sex ratios occur in many insect species as a consequence of infection by maternally-inherited male-killing bacterial endosymbionts. In this paper, we revise the research conducted on the phenomenon of male-killing in African nymphalid butterflies, with special focus on the cases of Danaus chrysippus, Acraea encedon and Acraea encedana. The evolution of male-killing in each case was addressed, together with the phylogeny of male-killers that were identified from this group. Moreover, the potential impacts that male-killers might impose on the evolution of their butterfly hosts were thoroughly investigated. In the end of this review, we present a number of unanswered questions to be targeted by future research work on the male-killing in these butterflies.

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