Two contrasting hypotheses of mimicry evolution in the Limenitis arthemis species complex. (a) According to the reversion hypothesis, mimetic L. a. astyanax is sister to non-mimetic L. a. arthemis. Under this hypothesis, the mimetic phenotype arose in the common ancestor to all L. arthemis and was subsequently lost in the L. a. arthemis lineage. (b) In contrast, the monophyletic mimic hypothesis predicts that the mimetic lineages L. a. astyanax and L. a. arizonensis are most closely related to each other and Batesian mimicry evolved only in the stem group of these two subspecies. Recent phylogenetic hypothesis testing  provided evidence in favor of the reversion hypothesis. Figure modified from .
Fiedler BMC Biology 2010 8:122 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-122