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The Ecology and Evolution of Heliconius Butterflies: A Passion for Diversity

Coming Soon
Written by one of the top researchers in the field
Richly illustrated with colour plates
Simplified chapter summaries at the start of each chapter explain the broad message to a non-scientific audience

By: Chris Jiggins (Author)

288 pages, 32 plates with colour photos

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Nov 2016 | #231476 | ISBN-13: 9780199566570
Available for pre-order: Due Nov 2016 Details
NHBS Price: £64.99 $80/€73 approx

About this book

The Heliconius butterflies are one of the classic systems in evolutionary biology and have contributed hugely to our understanding of evolution over the last 150 years. Their dramatic radiation and remarkable mimicry has fascinated biologists since the days of Bates, Wallace, and Darwin.

The Ecology and Evolution of Heliconius Butterflies is the first thorough and accessible treatment of the ecology, genetics, and behaviour of these butterflies, exploring how they offer remarkable insights into tropical biodiversity. The book starts by outlining some of the evolutionary questions that Heliconius research has helped to address, then moves on to an overview of the butterflies themselves and their ecology and behaviour before focussing on wing pattern evolution, and finally, speciation. Richly illustrated with 32 colour plates, The Ecology and Evolution of Heliconius Butterflies makes the extensive scientific literature on Heliconius butterflies accessible to a wide audience of professional ecologists, evolutionary biologists, entomologists, and amateur collectors.


1: Some evolutionary problems
2: Meet the butterflies and the biologists
3: The passion: Niche differentiation, coexistence and coevolution
4: The pollen: Adult resources and life history evolution
5: Roosts and traplines: Patterns of dispersal and movement
6: Brains, sex and learning: Behaviour, sexual and social selection
7: Beware! Warning colour and mimicry
8: Genes on the wing: Colour pattern genetics
9: Development on the wing: How to make a wing pattern different
10: First steps: biogeography, hybridisation and the origins of novel patterns
11: Completing the process: Adaptive radiation and speciation
12: Taxonomic list

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Chris Jiggins is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Director of Studies and Fellow at St John's College, Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. His research group is currently working on many aspects of Heliconius evolutionary biology, including evolutionary developmental biology of wing patterning, the genetic and behavioural basis for speciation, the sensory ecology of mimicry and analysis of the Heliconius melpomene genome.

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