Patterns of pollen feeding and habitat preference among Heliconius species

  title={Patterns of pollen feeding and habitat preference among Heliconius species},
  author={Catalina Estrada and Chris D. Jiggins},
  journal={Ecological Entomology},
Abstract 1. The ecological circumstances that precipitate speciation remain poorly understood. Here, a community of Heliconius butterflies in lowland Panama was studied to investigate patterns of pollen use, and more specifically the ecological changes associated with the recent divergence of Heliconius melpomene (Linnaeus) and H. cydno (Doubleday). 

Ecological Speciation in Mimetic Butterflies

It is shown that habitat isolation and color pattern preference are by far the most important factors causing speciation in mimetic butterflies.

Genetic architecture and ecological speciation in Heliconius butterflies

First half of final page redacted as it contained the beginning of the following article in 'Current Biology' that was unrelated to the original article.

Ecological and genetic factors influencing the transition between host‐use strategies in sympatric Heliconius butterflies

The results reveal ecological and genetic associations between shifts in habitat, host use and mimetic colour pattern that have likely facilitated both speciation and coexistence and demonstrate an association between host‐plant acceptance and colour pattern amongst interspecific hybrids.

Plasticity in flower size as an adaptation to variation in pollinator specificity

1. Mutualisms, including plant‐pollinator interactions, are an important component of ecosystems and need to be considered in the context of climate change.

Mimicry and the evolution of premating isolation in Heliconius melpomene Linnaeus

It is shown that male butterflies from four recently diverged parapatric populations of Heliconius melpomene are more likely to approach and court their own colour patterns as compared with those of other races, suggesting co‐evolved divergence of colour pattern and mate preference occurs rapidly and is likely the first step inHeliconius speciation.

Ecological and genetic associations across a Heliconius hybrid zone

  • M. Blum
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of evolutionary biology
  • 2008
It is found that genotype and phenotype frequencies correspond to differences in land cover moreso than to other environmental factors, which suggests that H. erato races differ in habitat use and that habitat preferences may promote speciation among Heliconius butterflies.

Natural hybridization in heliconiine butterflies: the species boundary as a continuum

Hybridization between species of Heliconius appears to be a natural phenomenon; there is no evidence that it has been enhanced by recent human habitat disturbance, and this finding concurs with the view that processes leading to speciation are continuous, rather than sudden, and that they are the same as those operating within species,rather than requiring special punctuated effects or complete allopatry.

TEN Rapid speciation , hybridization and adaptive radiation in the Heliconius melpomene group james mallet

How recent genetic studies, together with ecological and behavioural observations, suggest that the shared colour patterns are indeed due to hybridization and transfer of mimicry adaptations between Heliconius species is detailed.

Speciation and Patterns of Diversity: Rapid speciation, hybridization and adaptive radiation in the Heliconius melpomene group

How recent genetic studies, together with ecological and behavioural observations, suggest that the shared colour patterns are indeed due to hybridization and transfer of mimicry adaptations between Heliconius species is detailed.

Habitat segregation among mimetic ithomiine butterflies (Nymphalidae)

  • R. I. Hill
  • Environmental Science
    Evolutionary Ecology
  • 2009
Habitat segregation is likely to play a role in the evolution of mimetic diversity as a result of segregated abundant model species, but the effect is probably weak and other factors are also important.



Plant Chemistry and the Evolution of Host Specificity: New Evidence from Heliconius and Passiflora

  • J. Smiley
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 1978
Larval growth rates of Heliconius butterflies do not closely parallel host plant choice, an indication that factors other than host plant chemistry are important in evolving host specificity. High

Pollen feeding and reproductive biology of heliconius butterflies.

  • L. Gilbert
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1972
Butterflies of the neotropical Genus Heliconius feed on pollen. This is the first known instance in butterflies of a habit that is well known for other insects. The butterflies remove amino acids and

Ecology and speciation.

Associations of co-mimetic ithomiine butterflies on small spatial and temporal scales in a neotropic

A species accumulation curve reached an asymptote at 22 species, suggesting that these species have a greater preference for feeding on fruit juices than other ithomiines known to occur at the study site.

Patterns of pollen exploitation by Heliconius butterflies

Different species had significantly differing abilities to exploit small grained or large grained pollens, which resulted in significant differences in mean pollen collected at different sites by the same species, apparently because of differences in per capita resource availability to species using different habitats.


  • W. W. Benson
  • Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1978
Evidence is presented that at least one group of insect herbivores corresponds in many details to predictions derivable from competition and foraging theory and some of the more important details and extensions of these predictions are discussed.

Natural Selection for Miillerian Mimicry in Heliconius erato in Costa Rica

The results indicate that M�llerian mimicry was functioning to protect the butterflies from predation.

Host plant adaptation has not played a role in the recent speciation of Heliconius himera and Heliconius erato

An experiment was carried out to association between Heliconius and their Passifloraceae host investigate the causes of speciation in a pair of parapatric sister plants, finding differences in host plant use between these sister species could suggest speciation by host plant shifts.

Are chemical barriers necessary for evolution of butterfly-plant associations?

It is concluded that chemical barriers to feeding were not responsible for proliferation and diversification in the subgenus Plectostemma, nor did chemicals create a competitor-free “adaptive zone” in which the H. erato-charitonia species-group could proliferate and speciate.

Ovarian Dynamics in Heliconiine Butterflies: Programmed Senescence versus Eternal Youth

New oocytes are generated throughout long lives in butterflies of the genus Heliconius, which as adults feed on amino acids from pollen. In Dryas julia, a related heliconiine that feeds only on