It is well established that steroid hormones regulate sexual behavior in vertebrates via organizational and activational effects. However, whether the organizational/activational paradigm applies more broadly to the sexual behavior of other animals such as insects is not well established. Here we describe the hormonal regulation of a sexual behavior in the seasonally polyphenic butterfly Bicyclus anynana is consistent with the characteristics of an organizational effect. By measuring hormone titer levels, quantifying hormone receptor gene expression in the brain, and performing hormone manipulations, we demonstrate steroid hormone signaling early in pupal development has a latent effect on adult male sexual behavior in B. anynana. These findings suggest the organizational/activational paradigm may be more highly conserved across animal taxa than previously thought.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences