News Release 

Evolution of butterfly wing pattern mimicry

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers identified genomic elements that regulate the expression of optix, a gene that controls the red mimicry-related color patterns in Heliconius butterflies, and that appear to have evolved in parallel in distantly related, similarly patterned species; deletion of each of these elements affected multiple aspects of wing patterning, with all the elements being necessary for normal pattern development, rather than each element controlling an independent patterning module.


Article #19-07068: "Parallel evolution of ancient, pleiotropic enhancers underlies butterfly wing pattern mimicry," by James J. Lewis et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: James J. Lewis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; tel: 949-355-5093; e-mail:

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