Characterising the phenotypic diversity of Papilio dardanus wing patterns using an extensive museum collection

Thompson, Martin J. and Timmermans, Martijn J. T. N. ORCID logoORCID: (2014) Characterising the phenotypic diversity of Papilio dardanus wing patterns using an extensive museum collection. PLoS One, 9 (5) , e96815. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1932-6203 [Article] (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096815)

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The history of 20th Century evolutionary biology can be followed through the study of mimetic butterflies. From the initial findings of discontinuous polymorphism through the debates regarding the evolution of mimicry and the step-size of evolutionary change, to the studies on supergene evolution and molecular characterisation of butterfly genomes, mimetic butterflies have been at the heart of evolutionary thought for over 100 years. During this time, few species have received as much attention and in-depth study as Papilio dardanus. To assist all aspects of mimicry research, we present a complete data-derived overview of the extent of polymorphism within this species. Using historical samples permanently held by the NHM London, we document the extent of phenotypic variation and characterise the diversity present in each of the subspecies and how it varies across Africa. We also demonstrate an association between “imperfect” mimetic forms and the transitional race formed in the area where Eastern and Western African populations meet around Lake Victoria. We present a novel portal for access to this collection,, allowing remote access to this unique repository. It is hoped that this online resource can act as a nucleus for the sharing and dissemination of other collections databases and imagery connected with mimetic butterflies.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 15565
Notes on copyright: Copyright: © 2014 Thompson, Timmermans. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Depositing User: Martijn Timmermans
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 16:12
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:41

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