The hallmark of life on earth is morphological diversity, which is represented in the spectacular sexually dimorphic and polymorphic wing patterns of butterflies. I will address the evolutionary patterns and ecological processes that govern diversification in well-defined mimetic communities called mimicry rings. I will show how phylogenetic conservatism and convergence shape the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry rings. I will elucidate the role that island biogeographic processes play in the diversity and composition of mimicry rings. Finally, I will present a simple model that explains how sexual selection and frequency-dependent predation influence diversification of mimicry types, especially in sex-limited and polymorphic forms.
I will spend the last 10 minutes talking about the biodiversity museum and research collections that we are developing at NCBS, which will facilitate biodiversity-related research in India.