H. erato and H. melpomene mimic one another throughout their shared range of Central and South America but their color patterns change, in tandem, from location to location. The evolutionary processes responsible for this geographic variation in mimicry remain unclear. We are estimating racial-level phylogenies for the two species using both AFLPs and mtDNA sequences and testing whether the two species radiated in parallel across time and space. Our results are showing that the two species arrived in this diverse mimetic relationship starting at very different times, places, and phenotypes.
Marcus Kronforst, PhD
Department of Ecology & Evolution
University of Chicago
1101 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637