Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Conservation Biology

Department

Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Penz, Carla

Second Advisor

Johnson, Steven

Third Advisor

DeVries, Phil

Fourth Advisor

Grady, James

Fifth Advisor

Anthony, Nicola

Abstract

The butterflies in the genus Hamadryas are popular and noticeable representatives of the Neotropical Lepidoptera fauna. After a thorough taxonomic revision, 20 species were acknowledged within the genus, however no hypothesis of their phylogenetic relationship was proposed. The present dissertation provides a step further into the understanding of this fascinating group of butterflies not only by proposing the first phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus based on morphological and molecular data, but also by exploring for the first time in a group of butterflies the potential effect of venation associated with an specific behaviour on wing shape. Furthermore, this dissertation provides testable evolutionary hypotheses about the pattern of change for some of their most interesting natural history characters such as sound production and sexual dimorphism. The dissertation is organized in three chapters that can be visualized as manuscripts ready for publication; the first of these being already published (Garzón-Orduña, 2012).

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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