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We present a model for the formation of parallel rows of scale cells in the developing adult wing of moths and butterflies. Precursors of scale cells differentiate throughout each epithelial monolayer and migrate into rows that are roughly parallel to the body axis. Grafting experiments have revealed what appears to be a gradient of adhesivity along the wing. What is more, cell adhesivity character is maintained after grafting. Thus we suggest that it is a cell's location prior to migration that determines its interactions during migration. We use nonlinear bifurcation analysis to show that differential origin-dependent cell adhesion can result in the stabilization of rows over spots.


Journal article


Bull Math Biol

Publication Date





807 - 827


Animals, Body Patterning, Cell Adhesion, Computer Simulation, Lepidoptera, Models, Biological, Wings, Animal