Papilio polytes, a widely ranging Asian swallowtail, has a single male form and several female forms, most of which mimic locally abundant and toxic Pachliopta butterflies. There is a dominance hierarchy between female forms, the non-mimetic female form being recessive to all others. We are studying the genetic basis of the female-limited mimetic polymorphism in P. polytes with the goal of identifying the molecular basis of this mimicry supergene. Furthermore, in collaboration with Sean Mullen, we are comparing the genetic basis of mimicry among Heliconius, Papilio, and Limenitis butterflies.
Marcus Kronforst, PhD
Department of Ecology & Evolution
University of Chicago
1101 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637