Gene Behind Black Peppered Moth’s Color Change Identified

Black peppered moth - Biston betularia: light phenotype (left), dark phenotype (right)

A transposon underlies this classic story of evolutionary adaptation. Scientists have finally identified the genetic change that enabled the black peppered moth (Biston betularia) to change shades—from a light, speckled color to a dark brown hue—to camouflage itself against Britain’s soot-blackened trees during the Industrial Revolution: a mutation in a gene calledcortex, according to a … Read more

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