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The genus Melinaea contains some of the largest ithomiines. The species are difficult to separate from one another due to intraspecific polymoprhism and interpsecific Müllerian mimicry. The color patterns are also shared by members of the silvaniorm Heliconius, with which Melinaea specimens are often intermingled in collections. They can easily be distingished by the size of their heads -- Melinaea spp. have small heads, and Heliconius spp. have large heads and eyes. The shape of the hindwing discal cell is also very different between the two taxa.


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