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A mechanistic understanding of the butterfly wing color-pattern determination can be facilitated by experimental pattern changes. Here I review physiologically induced color-pattern changes in nymphalid butterflies and their mechanistic and evolutionary implications. A type of color-pattern change can be elicited by elemental changes in size and position throughout the wing, as suggested by the nymphalid groundplan. These changes of pattern elements are bi-directional and bi-sided dislocation toward or away from eyespot foci and in both proximal and distal sides of the foci. The peripheral elements are dislocated even in the eyespot-less compartments. Anterior spots are more severely modified, suggesting the existence of an anterior-posterior gradient. In one species, eyespots are transformed into white spots with remnant-like orange scales, and such patterns emerge even at the eyespot-less "imaginary" foci. A series of these color-pattern modifications probably reveal "snap-shots" of a dynamic morphogenic signal due to heterochronic uncoupling between the signaling and reception steps. The conventional gradient model can be revised to account for these observed color-pattern changes.  相似文献
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