A new subspecies in a Heliconius butterfly adaptive radiation (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) Academic Article


  • Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society


  • A fundamental goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how evolutionary patterns and processes shape natural diversity. This, however, requires a complete characterization of the phenotypic and genetic variation between and within species. Here, we used molecular, morphological and behavioural data to describe a new and stable subspecies of Heliconius timareta, named Heliconius timareta linaresi subsp. nov. This race differs phenotypically from other red-coloured H. timareta and instead exhibits a black and yellow wing pattern more similar to Heliconius cydno. However, mtDNA, microsatellite and amplified-fragment length polymorphism data indicate a closer relationship with H. timareta than H. cydno and Heliconius melpomene. Larval morphology and host plant preferences are similar to other H. timareta and H. cydno races. Thus, our combined data indicate that this taxon is a novel subspecies of H. timareta, clearly differentiated from H. cydno and H. melpomene.

publication date

  • 2017-8-1


  • 180


  • Heliconius
  • Heliconius melpomene
  • Lepidoptera
  • Nymphalidae
  • adaptive radiation
  • amplified fragment length polymorphism
  • butterflies
  • butterfly
  • evolutionary biology
  • genetic variation
  • host plant
  • host plants
  • microsatellite repeats
  • mitochondrial DNA
  • new subspecies
  • phenotypic variation
  • polymorphism
  • subspecies

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0024-4082

number of pages

  • 14

start page

  • 805

end page

  • 818