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