Five Year Evolution Shown in Butterfly Species

As reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Blue Moon Butterfly has shown evolutionary adaptation in only five years!

blue moon butterfly

A team of international researchers has found that butterflies on a South Pacific island quickly developed genetic defences when they faced extinction from a parasitic bacteria.

Their response to the attack was one of the fastest evolutionary changes ever observed.

Evolution is normally thought of as a process taking thousands of years, but the team behind this new research says the fightback of the Blue Moon Butterfly shows species can adapt in only five years.

In 2001, males had been so devastated by a bacteria that they accounted for just 1 per cent of the Blue Moon population on the island studied.

But by last year, the butterflies had developed a gene to keep the bacteria in check, and male numbers were up to about 40 per cent.


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