Research projects

The diverse nature of this species makes it loved among amateur entomologists. However, evolutionary biologists are equally keen on it. Scientists have been working on it for almost a century, trying to understand its morphological diversification and the genetics underlying it.

Intriguingly, breeding experiments performed in the 1950s by Sir Cyril Clarke and Philip Sheppard showed that all the variation in this true Batesian mimic is determined by one genomic locus. The pungent question still remains how this one locus generates all the variation observed? Researchers at the Natural History Museum are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying this evolutionary advantageous diversity.