HeliconiinaeNiklas Wahlberg and Andrew V. Z. Brower
This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.
The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.
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The subfamily Heliconiinae is composed of a diverse group of species distributed widely in the New and Old World tropics, and it also includes the largely Holarctic fritillaries (Argynnini). Many species in Heliconiini and Acraeini sequester and/or synthesize cyanogenic glucosides, which render them unpalatable to predators. As a result, they act as Müllerian mimics or models for palatable Batesian species in other groups.
Brower, A. V. Z. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships among the Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera), inferred from partial sequences of the wingless gene. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 267:1201-1211.
Freitas, A. V. L., and K. S. J. Brown. 2004. Phylogeny of the Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Systematic Biology 53:363-383.
Penz, C., and D. Peggie. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships among Heliconiinae genera based on morphology (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Systematic Entomology 28:451-479.
Silva-Brandão, K. L., Wahlberg, N., Francini, R. B., Azeredo-Espin, A. M. L., Brown, K. S. J., Paluch, M., Lees, D. C. & Freitas, A. V. L. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of butterflies of the tribe Acraeini (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Heliconiinae) and the evolution of host plant use. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46, 515-531.
Wahlberg, N., E. Weingartner, and S. Nylin. 2003. Towards a better understanding of the higher systematics of Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28:473-484.
About This Page
University of Turku, Finland
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Niklas Wahlberg at and Andrew V. Z. Brower at
Page copyright © 2009 Niklas Wahlberg and
Page: Tree of Life Heliconiinae Authored by . Niklas Wahlberg and Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.
- First online 25 September 2006
- Content changed 19 March 2008
Citing this page:
Wahlberg, Niklas and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2008. Heliconiinae http://tolweb.org/Heliconiinae/12194/2008.03.19 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 19 March 2008 (under construction).