Variación geográfica de la microbiota en cuatro especies del género Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) en Colombia Thesis

short description

  • Undergraduate thesis

Thesis author

  • Luna-Niño, Nicolás

external tutor

  • Ramírez, Juan David
  • Salazar, Camilo


  • Previous studies on Heliconius butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) have provided information to understand the mechanisms facilitating speciation and adaptation across the Neotropic realm. The analyses of the microbiota in these insects have shown interspecific and intraspecific variations, which were not directly associated with pollen predation. It remains unclear if the geographic ecosystems where butterflies with different mimicry rings cohabit affect the microbiota in these organisms. In this study, amplicon-based sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed on 66 samples corresponding to four species from different biogeographic regions in Colombia, namely, Heliconius clysonymus (n = 4), Heliconius erato (n = 24), Heliconius melpomene (n = 19) and Heliconius cydno (n = 19). The predominant genera in Heliconius microbiota were Commensalibacter, Enterococcus, Spiroplasma and Orbus, with different abundances among species and subspecies inhabiting different biogeographic provinces in Colombia. Moreover, the microbiota clusters by species did not completely reflect their phylogenetic relationships. Despite the wide diversity of species and subspecies of Heliconius present in Colombia, this study demonstrated that the abundance of communities in the microbiota varied based on the environmental conditions of the ecosystems they inhabit and no species-specific pattern was observed.

publication date

  • February 16, 2021 8:32 PM


  • Butterflies of the genus
  • Butterflies of the genus Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)
  • Commensalibacter, Enterococcus, Spiroplasma and Orbus in Butterflies
  • Microbiological studies in butterflies
  • Microbiota analysis in insects

Document Id

  • 5286eac6-54b9-4f23-9bac-b31a16af7c32