The female-limited Batesian mimicry polymorphism in Papilio butterflies is an intriguing system for investigating the mechanism of maintenance of genetic polymorphisms. In Papilio polytes, an autosomal region encompassing the sex-determinant gene doublesex controls female-limited mimicry polymorphism. In the closely related species P. memnon, which also exhibits female-limited Batesian mimicry polymorphism, we identified two allelic sequences of the doublesex gene that corresponded exactly with the mimetic and non-mimetic female phenotypes. Thus, the genetic basis of the mimicry polymorphism in P. memnon is similar to that in P. polytes. However, the mimetic and non-mimetic alleles of the two species were not identical, and the divergence of alleles occurred independently in P. memnon and P. polytes. Different mutation-selection processes may have resulted in the convergent patterns of mimicry polymorphism in these Papilio butterflies.
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