*Contribution No. 109 from the Program in Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Adaptive radiation and convergence in subdivisions of the butterfly genus Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 58, Issue 4, pages 297–308, June 1976
How to Cite
TURNER, J. R. G. (1976), Adaptive radiation and convergence in subdivisions of the butterfly genus Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 58: 297–308. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.1976.tb01000.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Accepted for publication July 1975
The process of adaptive radiation and convergence, usually regarded as a feature of macro-evolution, can be seen in the mimetic colour patterns of the butterflies within the confines of the South American genus Heliconius. This can be shown by dividing the genus into subgroups on the basis of adult, pupal and larval morphology: the theory that the mimicry between species results solely from close systematic relationships is thereby refuted, as members of the same morphological group can display widely divergent mimetic patterns, and conversely mutual mimics may belong to several different morphological groups. Various forms of parallel and convergent evolution are thought to account for the present pattern of mimicry, the process is known to start even before full speciation has taken place. A new subgenus (Neruda) is created to contain three atypical members of the genus.