Heliconius melpomene (Postman butterfly) (Hmel1)


About Heliconius melpomene

Within the butterflies, the combined traits of daytime flight and colour-vision have led to the evolution of complex colour patterns for both within- and between-species signalling. As long ago as 1862, Henry W. Bates, reflecting upon observations made during his stay in the Amazon basin, had shown that colour patterns for butterflies of the genus Heliconius were similar between species within any one area. Furthermore, the specific patterns of such Mullerian mimickry, whereby species share the cost of educating predators about their unpalatable nature, changes every 100-200 miles. Such characteristics provide exciting opportunities for genomic studies into the nature of adaptive variation, the origin of new species, and the genetic basis of complex traits. The Postman Butterfly, Heliconius melpomene, has large long wings with a red stripe down each forewing. It is poisonous, and has a geographical distribution from Central to South America. It is the first of the Heliconius butterflies to have its genome sequenced.

Picture credit: Mauricio Linares, via Chris Jiggins (University of Cambridge)

Taxonomy ID 34740

Data source Heliconius Genome Consortium

More information and statistics

Genome assembly: Hmel1

More information and statistics

Download DNA sequence (FASTA)

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Gene annotation

What can I find? Protein-coding and non-coding genes, splice variants, cDNA and protein sequences, non-coding RNAs.

More about this genebuild

Download genes, cDNAs, ncRNA, proteins - FASTA - GFF3

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Comparative genomics

What can I find? Homologues, gene trees, and whole genome alignments across multiple species.

More about comparative analyses

Phylogenetic overview of gene families

Download alignments (EMF)


This species currently has no variation database. However you can process your own variants using the Variant Effect Predictor:

Variant Effect Predictor

Other Alignments

Approximately 130 community annotations are mapped to the genome (Example: HE671626:144000-177000).