Rufous/cinereus forest dichromatisms

Karstad-Schueler bckcdb at ISTAR.CA
Tue Jan 26 13:40:33 CST 1999


Several of the more conspicuous Vertebrates in the forests of
Northeastern North America (Ruffed Grouse, Screech Owls, Red/lead- back
Plethodon Salamanders) have stable polymorphisms with reddish and greyish
colour forms, or vary, individually or seasonally, between these colours
(Wood Frogs, Spring Peepers, Whitetail Deer). These are plausible colours
for cryptic forest creatures, as the colours of freshly dead and decaying
leaves, and as the hues of phaeo- and eu- melanins.

I wonder if anyone else is interested in this phenomenon, either here
or in other biomes or ecosystems, or has reviewed it on a regional or
global basis? Are there Insects, snails, or other Animals that show such
dichromisms, or are there taxa other than Plethodon where it has been
shown to be linked to physiologial characterisitcs?  I was going to do
such a review 25 yrs ago, but never got around to it, and now we want to
build an exhibit about the local dimorphisms.  Since it would be a hard
subject on which to search the literature, I thought I'd ask here (and if
anyone not on the list might be interested, forward this to them...).


fred schueler.
         Eastern    Ontario    Biodiversity    Museum
                Grenville Co, Ontario, Canada
(RR#2 Oxford Station, K0G 1T0) (613)258-3107   bckcdb at

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