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Volume 53 Issue 3, March 2021

Volume 53 Issue 3

Butterfly wing-pattern polymorphisms

The picture shows a female Heliconius numata isabellinus from eastern Peru. Heliconius numata is an Amazonian butterfly displaying one of the most impressive wing-pattern polymorphisms known, with up to seven morphs coexisting in a single population. This variation is controlled by chromosomal inversions, which ‘lock together’ wing-pattern genes but also harbor an excess of deleterious mutations. Analyzing how this mutational load is associated with the evolution of chromosomal rearrangements provides new insight into the formation of complex polymorphisms in nature.

See Jay et al.

Image: Mathieu Joron. Cover Design: Valentina Monaco.

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