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Races of Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae) Found on Different Sides of the Andes Show Wing Size Differences

Authors
Publisher
Florida Entomologist
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Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

Scientific Notes 711 RACES OF HELICONIUS ERATO (NYMPHALIDAE: HELICONIINAE) FOUND ON DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE ANDES SHOW WING SIZE DIFFERENCES M IRIAN M EDINA H AY -R OE 1 McGuire Center for the Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0650 1 Current address: USDA-ARS CMAVE, 1700 SW 23 rd Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608 Heliconius erato (Linnaeus, 1758) is a brightly colored, variably patterned butterfly that is dis- tributed from Mexico to Central and South Amer- ica. It is adapted to altitudes that range from sea level to 1,600 m. and is frequently found flying in open pastures in disturbed forest and secondary growth (DeVries 1987). Its geographical races have different coloration patterns that range from orange and black, to red, yellow, and black, and to iridescent blue and pink (this pattern of coloration is shared with the co-mimic H. mel- pomene , (Sheppard et al. 1985). There are approx- imately 30 parapatric races that mate randomly in narrow hybridization zones (Emsley 1964; Mal- let 1986). Brower (1994) grouped H. erato races into 2 main clades. One clade includes races that are located on the eastern side of the Andes, while the second clade is found on the western side of the Andes. Here I report the presence of statisti- cally significant differences in wing size between individuals representing the 2 clades. I show that individuals of H. erato from the eastern side of the Andes are larger than the races from the western side. Ecological studies were performed to under- stand whether these size differences are due to environmental, genetic, or maternal factors (Hay- Roe 1996, 2004) The Lepidoptera collection of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, FLMNH, was used to measure the size (forewing length) of different races of H. erato . The numb

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