Around the time of the American Revolution,
some North American lepidopterists were paying more attention
to butterflies than to tea and taxes.
As the redcoats and rebels squared off,
the butterfly-chasers gathered their own army of specimens,
including two new species in the genus Limenitis.
一种是叫做White Admiral的白蚊蛱蝶 黑色配有白条纹
One was the White Admiral, a black butterfly with white stripes.
The Admiral lives mostly in today’s Canada was the official insect emblem of Quebec.
And further south in the soon to be USA,
lepidopterists found a butterfly that with black and blue and brown with yellow orange spots.
the lepidopterists named the Red-Spotted Purple which somehow stock.
Today, the Purple is New York State’s butterfly.
Neither insect’s name seems totally spot-on,
but the White Admiral is true to it’s title in one sense
like a commando in a combat zone, it uses stealth to survive.
It’s white stripes break up its butterfly outline,
making it harder for predators to target.
The Red-Spotted Purple, on the other hand, wants to be seen.
It’s flamboyant coloration mimics the wing pattern of another poisonous species in it’s range.
fooling predators into thinking it’s too it’s too dangerous to eat.
For a while, the Admiral in purple seemed pretty straightforward for the lepidopterists:
两种蝴蝶 两种花纹 两种生存方式
there were two butterflies with two wing patterns and two approaches to survival
and two almost totally separate territories.
but something funky happens near the U.S.-Canada border,
where the two insects’ ranges overlap.
Here,there’re butterflies with both colorful spots and white stripes.
kind of like Red-Spotted Purple White Admirals.
And sure enough,those butterflies turned out to be the odd-looking offspring
of the White Admiral and Red-Spotted Purple.
显然 当两个生物看起来非常不同时 自然会被划分为不同的物种
Obviously when two organisms look very different, it’s natural to want to call them different species.
But underneath their colors, these two butterflies are surprisingly similar
如基因方面 身体结构方面 还有它们相互之间跨种交配
genetically,anatomically, and romantically
in fact, they mate with each other in the wild just as readily as they mate with their own type.
All those factors eventually convinced scientists to bring the two butterflies together in taxonomic union，
the two species became one.
And it’s not just butterflies whose looks can be deceiving
many other cross border cousins aren’t nearly as different
as their various stripes and spots suggest.