Homologies in the colour patterns of the genus Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The colour patterns of Heliconius butterflies are composed from a relatively simple set of pattern elements whose homologues are recognizable throughout the genus. Although Heliconius colour patterns look quite different from those of most nymphalids, these pattern elements are seen to derive from the generalized nymphalid groundplan. The differences arise primarily from the loss or positional shift of certain pattern elements, a high degree of fusion between individual pattern elements, and, in the forewing, asymmetries of the pattern elements relative to the wing‐cell midline. The scheme of homologies we present is consistent with what is currently known about the comparative morphology and developmental physiology of colour pattern formation in Lepidoptera, and provides a framework for the interpretation of developmental, evolutionary and genetic studies in Heliconius. Copyright © 1988, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors


Published Date

  • January 1, 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 345 - 365

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-8312

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0024-4066

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1095-8312.1988.tb00449.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus