DanainaeNiklas Wahlberg and Andrew V. Z. Brower
This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.
The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.
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The name Danainae is here applied to the clade inclusive of the pantropical milkweed butterflies ("Danaidae" of authors), the neotropical clearwing butterflies ("Ithomiidae" of authors), and the monogeneric Australasian Tellervo, which has commonly been accorded subfamilial rank. Larvae of all three possess thoracic tubercles and are associated with apocynaceous larval hostplants, at least among basal members of each group. All are aposematic as adults and many serve as models or co-mimics in mimicry complexes.
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
These groups have traditionally been united by similarities of hostplant use–basal members of each group are associated with Asclepiadaceae and/or Apocynaceae (Ackery 1988). Molecular evidence supporting their close relationship has been found by Brower (2000), and morphological synapomorphies by Freitas and Brown (2004).
Ackery PR. 1988. Hostplants and classification: a review of nymphalid butterflies. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 33: 95-203.
Brower AVZ. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships among the Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera) inferred from partial sequences of the wingless gene. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 267: 1201-1211.
Freitas AVL, and Brown KSJ. 2004. Phylogeny of the Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera). Systematic Biology 53: 363-383.
About This Page
University of Turku, Finland
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Niklas Wahlberg at and Andrew V. Z. Brower at
Page copyright © 2009 Niklas Wahlberg and
Page: Tree of Life Danainae Authored by . Niklas Wahlberg and 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.
- First online 25 September 2006
- Content changed 27 October 2008
Citing this page:
Wahlberg, Niklas and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2008. Danainae http://tolweb.org/Danainae/12187/2008.10.27 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 27 October 2008 (under construction).