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Keywords:

  • degenerate primers;
  • Lepidoptera;
  • Nymphalidae;
  • pigmentation;
  • wing pattern

Abstract

I described the development of degenerate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers for intron-containing regions of nine candidate wing patterning and pigmentation genes in Heliconius butterflies. Primers were developed by comparing sequence data from Drosophila melanogaster, Precis coenia, and a variety of other insects so they are likely to be applicable widely among the butterfly family Nymphalidae and perhaps Lepidoptera in general. The amplified regions are highly variable and should be useful for inferring relationships among closely related species and estimating the phylogeographical and population genetic structure of individual species.