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All these belong to the family of the Nymphalidæ. Many other genera of this family, as Diadema, Adolias, Charaxes, and Cyrestis, as well as the entire families of the Danaidæ, Satyridæ, Lycænidæ, and Hesperidæ, present no examples of this peculiar form of the upper wing in the Celebesian species.
Local variations of Colour.-In Amboyna and Ceram the female of the large and handsome Ornithoptera Helena has the large patch on the hind wings constantly of a pale dull ochre or buff colour, while in the scarcely distinguishable varieties from the adjacent islands of Bouru and New Guinea, it is of a golden yellow, hardly inferior in brilliancy to its colour in the male sex. The female of Ornithoptera Priamus (inhabiting Amboyna and Ceram exclusively) is of a pale dusky brown tint, while in all the allied species the same sex is nearly black with contrasted white markings. As a third example, the female of Papilio Ulysses has the blue colour obscured by dull and dusky tints, while in the closely allied species from the surrounding islands, the females are of almost as brilliant an azure blue as the males. A parallel case to this is the occurrence, in the small islands of Goram, Matabello, Ké, and Aru, of several distinct species of Euplæa and Diadema, having broad bands or patches of white, which do not exist in any of the allied species from the larger islands. These facts seem to indicate some local influence in modifying colour, as unintelligible and almost as remarkable as that which has resulted in the modifications of form previously described.
Remarks on the facts of Local variation.' The facts now brought forward seem to me of the highest interest. We see that almost all the species in two important families of the Lepidoptera (Papilionidæ and Pieridæ) acquire, in a single island, a characteristic modification of form distinguishing them from the allied species and varieties of all the surrounding islands. In other equally extensive families no such change occurs, except in one or two isolated species. However we may account for these phenomena, or whether we may be quite unable to account for them, they furnish, in my opinion, a strong corroborative testimony in favour of the doctrine of the origin of species by successive small variations ; for we have here slight varieties, local races, and undoubted species, all modified in exactly the same manner, indicating plainly a common cause producing identical results. On the generally received theory of the original distinctness and permanence of species, we are met by this difficulty: one portion of these curiously modified forms are admitted to have been produced by variation and some natural action of local conditions; whilst the other portion, differing from the former only in degree, and connected with them by insensible gradations, are said to have possessed this peculiarity of form at their first creation, or to have derived it from unknown causes of a totally distinct nature. Is not the à priori evidence in favour of an identity of the causes that have produced such similar results ? and have we not a right to call upon our opponents for some proofs of their own doctrine, and for an explanation of its difficulties, instead of their assuming that they are right, and laying upon us the burthen of disproof?
Let us now. see if the facts in question do not themselves furnish some clue to their explanation. Mr. Bates has shown that certain groups of butterflies have a defence against insectivorous animals, independent of swiftness of motion. These are generally very abundant, slow, and weak fliers, and are more or less the objects of mimicry by other groups, which thus gain an advantage in a freedom from persecution similar to that enjoyed by those they resemble. Now the only Papilios which have not in Celebes acquired the peculiar form of wing, belong to a group which is imitated both by other species of Papilio and by Moths of the genus Epicopeia. This group is of weak and slow flight; and we may therefore fairly conclude that it possesses some means of defence (probably in a peculiar odour or taste) which saves it from attack. Now the arched costa and falcate form of wing is generally supposed to give increased powers of flight, or, as seems to me more probable, greater facility in making sudden turnings, and thus baffling a pursuer. But the members of the Polydorus-group (to which belongs the only unchanged Celebesian Papilio), being already guarded against attack, have no need of this increased power of wing; and “ natural selection” would therefore have no tendency to produce it. The whole family
of Danaidæ are in the same position : they are slow and weak fliers; yet they abound in species and individuals, and are the objects of mimicry. The Satyridæ have also probably a means of protection-perhaps their keeping always near the ground and their generally obscure colours; while the Lycænidæ and Hesperidæ may find security in their small size and rapid motions. In the extensive family of the Nymphalidæ, however, we find that several of the larger species, of comparatively feeble structure, have their wings modified (Cethosia, Limenitis, Junonia, Cynthia), while the largebodied powerful species, which have all an excessively rapid flight, have exactly the same form of wing in Celebes as in the other islands. On the whole, therefore, we may say that all the butterflies of rather large size, conspicuous colours, and not very swift flight have been affected in the manner described, while the smaller sized and obscure groups, as well as those which are the objects of mimicry, and also those of exceedingly swift flight have remained unaffected.
It would thus appear as if there must be (or once have been) in the island of Celebes, some peculiar enemy to these larger-sized butterflies which does not exist, or is less abundant, in the surrounding islands. Increased powers of flight, or rapidity of turning, was advantageous in baffling this enemy; and the peculiar form of wing necessary to give this would be readily acquired by the action of " natural selection” on the slight variations of form that are continually occurring.
Such an enemy one would naturally suppose to be ILLUSTRATIVE OF NATURAL SELECTION.
an insectivorous bird ; but it is a remarkable fact that most of the genera of Fly-catchers of Borneo and Java on the one side (Muscipeta, Philentoma,) and of the Moluccas on the other (Monarcha, Rhipidura), are almost entirely absent from Celebes. Their place seems to be supplied by the Caterpillar-catchers (Graucalus, Campephaga, &c.), of which six or seven species are known from Celebes and are very numerous in individuals. We have no positive evidence that these birds pursue butterflies on the wing, but it is highly probable that they do so when other food is scarce. Mr. Bates has suggested to me that the larger DragonAlies (Æshna, &c.) prey upon butterflies ; but I did not notice that they were more abundant in Celebes than elsewhere. However this may be, the fauna of Celebes is undoubtedly highly peculiar in every department of which we have any accurate knowledge; and though we may not be able satisfactorily to trace how it has been effected, there can, I think, be little doubt that the singular modification in the wings of so many of the butterflies of that island is an effect of that complicated action and reaction of all living things upon each other in the struggle for existence, which continually tends to readjust disturbed relations, and to bring every species into harmony with the varying conditions of the surrounding universe.
But even the conjectural explanation now given fails us in the other cases of local modification. Why the species of the Western islands should be smaller than those further east,—why those of Amboyna should