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Melinaea Hübner 1816

Andrew V. Z. Brower
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Containing group: Ithomiini


The genus Melinaea contains some of the largest ithomiines. The species are difficult to separate from one another due to intraspecific polymoprhism and interpsecific Müllerian mimicry. The color patterns are also shared by members of the silvaniorm Heliconius, with which Melinaea specimens are often intermingled in collections. They can easily be distingished by the size of their heads -- Melinaea spp. have small heads, and Heliconius spp. have large heads and eyes. The shape of the hindwing discal cell is also very different between the two taxa.

Other Names for Melinaea Hübner 1816


Brown KS, Jr. 1977. Geographical patterns of evolution in Neotropical Lepidoptera: differentiation of the species of Melinaea and Mechanitis (Nymphalidae, Ithomiinae). Syst. Ent. 2: 161-197.

Fox RM. 1960. A monograph of the Ithomiidae (Lepidoptera). Part II. The tribe Melinaeini Clark. Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc, 86: 109-171.

Lamas G ed. 2004. Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera. Checklist: Part 4A Hesperioidea - Papiionoidea. Gainesville: Scientific Publishers/Association of Tropical Lepidoptera.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Melinaea mneme
Location Rio Cristalino Lodge, Mato Grosso, Brasil
Sex Male
Source Mneme Clearwing
Source Collection Neotropical Butterflies
Copyright © 2003 Kim Garwood
About This Page

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Andrew V. Z. Brower at

Page: Tree of Life Melinaea Hübner 1816. Authored by 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.

Citing this page:

Brower, Andrew V. Z. 2009. Melinaea Hübner 1816. Version 18 May 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Melinaea/27591/2009.05.18 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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