(updated May 2023, see the complete list of research papers and books on our lab website, including new species and other naural history discoveries:


  1. Basu, D. N., V. Bhaumik, and K. Kunte. 2023. The tempo and mode of character evolution in the assembly of mimetic communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 120:e2203724120. Also featured on the cover.
  2. Condamine, F. L., R. Allio, E. L. Reboud, J. R. Dupuis, E. F. A. Toussaint, N. Mazet, S.-J. Hue, D. S. Lewis, K. Kunte, A. M. Cotton, and F. A. H. Sperling. 2023. A comprehensive phylogeny and revised taxonomy illuminate the origin and diversification of the global radiation of Papilio (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 183:107758.
  3. Kawahara, A. Y., C. Storer, A. P. S. Carvalho, ... K. Kunte ..., N. E. Pierce, and D. J. Lohman. 2023. A global phylogeny of butterflies reveals their evolutionary history, ancestral hosts, and biogeographic origins. Nature Ecology and Evolution, s41559-023-02041-9.
  4. Deshmukh, R., S. Baral, M. Kuwalekar, A. G. Kizhakke, and K. Kunte. 2022. Reproductive barriers and genomic hotspots of adaptation during allopatric species divergence. Preprint on bioRxiv. DOI:
  5. Kuwalekar, M., R. Deshmukh, S. Baral, A. Padvi, and K. Kunte. 2022. Duplication and sub-functionalisation characterise diversification of opsin genes in the Lepidoptera. Preprint on bioRxiv. DOI:
  6. Kunte, K., A. G. Kizhakke, and V. Nawge. 2021. Evolution of mimicry rings as a window into community dynamics. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 52:315–341.
  7. Deshmukh, R., D. Lakhe, and K. Kunte. 2020. Tissue-specific developmental regulation and isoform usage underlie the role of doublesex in sex differentiation and mimicry in Papilio swallowtails. Royal Society Open Science, 7:200792.
  8. Basu, D. N., and K. Kunte. 2020. Tools of the trade: MicroCT reveals native structure and functional morphology of organs that drive caterpillar-ant interactions. Scientific Reports, 10:10593. A video of Apharitis lilacinus caterpillar with 3D structures of its specialized ant-associated organs, delineated with microCT scanning, is available on the Biodiversity Atlas – India YouTube channel.
  9. Bhaumik, V., and K. Kunte. 2020. Dispersal and migration have contrasting effects on butterfly flight morphology and reproduction. Biology Letters, 16:20200393.
  10. Kuwalekar, M., R. Deshmukh, A. Padvi, and K. Kunte. 2020. Molecular evolution and developmental expression of melanin pathway genes in Lepidoptera. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8:226.
  11. Gautam, S., and  K. Kunte. 2020. Adaptive plasticity in wing melanisation of a montane butterfly across a Himalayan elevational gradient. Ecological Entomology, 45:1272–1283.
  12. Baral, S., Gandhimathi A., R. Deshmukh, and K. Kunte. 2019. Genetic architecture and sex-specific selection govern modular, male-biased evolution of doublesex. Science Advances, 5:eaau3753.
  13. Yang, L., N. Ravikanthachari, R. Mariño-Pérez, R. Deshmukh, M. Wu, A. Rosenstein, K. Kunte, H. Song, P. Andolfatto. 2019. Predictability in the evolution of Orthopteran cardenolide insensitivity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, B374:20180246.
  14. Phalnikar, K., K. Kunte, and D. Agashe. 2019. Disrupting butterfly microbiomes does not affect host survival and development. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286:20192438.
  15. Bhaumik, V., and K. Kunte. 2018. Female butterflies modulate investment in reproduction and flight in response to monsoon-driven migrations. Oikos, 127:285–296. Also featured on the cover.
  16. Deshmukh, R., S. Baral, A. Gandhimathi, M. Kuwalekar, and K. Kunte. 2018. Mimicry in butterflies: co-option and a bag of magnificent developmental genetic tricks. WIREs Developmental Biology (formally merged in 2022 with WIREs Mechanisms of Disease), 7:e291.
  17. Phalnikar, K., K. Kunte, and D. Agashe. 2018. Dietary and developmental shifts in butterfly-associated bacterial communities. Royal Society Open Science, 5:171559.
  18. Gaitonde, N., J. Joshi, and K. Kunte. 2018. Evolution of ontogenic change in color defenses of swallowtail butterflies. Ecology and Evolution, 8:9751–9763.
  19. Arnold, M. L. and K. Kunte. 2017. Adaptive genetic exchange: a tangled history of admixture and evolutionary innovation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 32:601–611.
  20. Joshi, J., A. Prakash, and K. Kunte. 2017. Evolutionary assembly of communities in butterfly mimicry rings. The American Naturalist, 189:E58–E76. Recipient of the 2018 Presidential Award of the American Society of Naturalists.
  21. Jain, A., K. Kunte, and E. L. Webb. 2016. Flower specialization of butterflies and impacts of non-native flower use in a transformed tropical landscape. Biological Conservation, 201:184–191.
  22. Su, S., M. Lim, and K. Kunte. 2015. Prey from the eyes of predators: colour discriminability of aposematic and mimetic butterflies from an avian visual perspective. Evolution, 69:2985–2994. Also featured on the cover.
  23. Kunte, K., W. Zhang, A. Tenger-Trolander, D. H. Palmer, A. Martin, R. D. Reed, S. P. Mullen, and M. R. Kronforst. 2014. doublesex is a mimicry supergene. Nature, 507:229–232.
  24. Kunte, K., C. Shea, M. L. Aardema, J. M. Scriber, T. E. Juenger, L. E. Gilbert, and M. R. Kronforst. 2011. Sex chromosome mosaicism and hybrid speciation among tiger swallowtail butterflies. PLoS Genetics, 7:e1002274.
  25. Kunte, K. 2009. Female-limited mimetic polymorphism: A review of theories and a critique of sexual selection as balancing selection. Animal Behaviour, 78:1029-1036.
  26. Kunte, K. 2009. The diversity and evolution of Batesian mimicry in Papilio swallowtail butterflies. Evolution, 63:2707-2716.
  27. Kunte, K. 2008. Mimetic butterflies support Wallace's model of sexual dimorphism. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275:1617-1624.
  28. Kunte, K. 2008. Competition and species diversity: Removal of dominant species increases diversity in Costa Rican butterfly communities. Oikos, 117:69-76.
  29. Kunte, K. 2007. Allometry and functional constraints on proboscis lengths in butterflies. Functional Ecology, 21:982-987.


  1. Wa, D., S. Rana, K. Bawa, K. Kunte, and Z. Wang. 2023.  Roof of the world: home and border in the genomic era. Molecular Ecology Resources, in press.
  2. Wang, Z., W. Da, C. S. Negi, P. L. Ghimire, K. Wangdi, P. K. Yadav, Z. Pubu, L. Lama, K. Yarpel, S. C. Maunsell, Y. Liu, K. Kunte, K. S. Bawa, D. Yang, and N. E. Pierce. 2022. Profiling, monitoring and conserving caterpillar fungus in the Himalayan region using anchored hybrid enrichment markers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 289:20212650.
  3. [BOOK CHAPTER] Kunte, K. 2018. Butterflies in a changing climate. pp. 94–96 in Biodiversity and Climate Change: An Indian Perspective, edited by J. Bhatt, A. Das, and K. Shanker. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, New Delhi, India.
  4. Lasley, R. M. Jr., A. Jain, and K. Kunte. 2013. Alleviating poverty in India: Biodiversity's role. Science, 341:840-841.
  5. Kumaraswamy, S., and K. Kunte. 2013. Integrating biodiversity and conservation with modern agricultural landscapes. Biodiversity and Conservation, 22:2735-2750.


  1. Sondhi, S., K. A. Efetov, G. M. Tarmann, T. Karmakar, U. Pawar, and K. Kunte. 2023. A new species of Piarosoma Hampson, 1893 (Lepidoptera, Zygaenidae, Procridinae, Artonini) from Arunachal Pradesh, India. Zootaxa, 5270:139–145.

  2. Owens, C., ..., K. Kunte, ..., and C. Simon. 2022. Detecting and removing sample contamination in phylogenomic data: an example and its implications for Cicadidae phylogeny (Insecta: Hemiptera). Systematic Biology, 71:1504–1523.

  3. Joshi, J., and K. Kunte. 2022. Polytypy and systematics: diversification of Papilio swallowtail butterflies in the biogeographically complex Indo-Australian Region. Preprint on bioRxiv. DOI:

  4. Joshi, S., D. Sawant, H. Ogale, and K Kunte. 2022. Burmagomphus chaukulensis, a new species of dragonfly (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) from the Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India. Zootaxa, 5133:413–430.

  5. Grehan, J. R., C. G. C. Mielke, D. N. Basu, U. Pawar, V. A. Ismavel, J. E. Rawlins, and K. Kunte. 2022. A new species of Endoclita C. & R. Felder, 1874 ghost moth from Karimganj District of Assam, India, with comments on the genus in northeastern India, and clarification of E. signifer (Walker, 1856) (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae). ZooNova, 16:113.

  6. Hime, P. M., A. R. Lemmon, E. C. Moriarty-Lemmon, E. Prendini, J. M. Brown, R. C. Thomson, J. D. Kratovil, B. P. Noonan, R. A. Pyron, P. L. V. Peloso, M. L. Kortyna, J. S. Keogh, S. C. Donnellan, R. L. Mueller, C. J. Raxworthy, K. Kunte, S. R. Ron, S. Das, N. Gaitonde, D. M. Green, J. Labisko, J. Che, D. W. Weisrock. 2021. Phylogenomics reveals ancient gene tree discordance in the Amphibian Tree of Life. Systematic Biology, 70:49–66.

  7. Karmakar, T., S. W. Lepcha, D. N. Basu, and K. Kunte. 2021. A new species of Zographetus Watson, 1893 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from Sikkim, eastern Himalaya, India. Zootaxa, 5072:373–379.

  8. Grehan, J. R., C. G. C. Mielke, D. N. Basu, C. S. Negi, P. K. Sharma, and K. Kunte. 2021. New species of Thitarodes Viette, 1968 ghost moth from Kumaun Himalaya, India (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae). ZooNova, 12:116.

  9. Sarkar, V., C. Mahapatra, P. P. Mohapatra, M. V. Nair, and K. Kunte. 2021. Description of three new species of the genus Mata Distant, 1906 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Oncotympanini) with notes on their natural history from Indian state of Meghalaya, India. Zootaxa, 4908:1–28.

  10. Hill, K., D. Marshall, K. Marathe, M. Moulds, Y. P. Lee, A. Mohagan, V. Sarkar, B. Price, H. Duffels, M. Schouten, A. de Boer, K. Kunte, and C. Simon. 2021. The molecular systematics and diversification of a large, taxonomically unstable group of primarily Asian cicada tribes (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Invertebrate Systematics, 35:570–601.

  11. Sondhi, S., D. N. Basu, Y. Sondhi, and K. Kunte. 2020. A new species of Metallolophia Warren, 1895 (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Geometrinae), and notes on M. opalina (Warren, 1893), from eastern Himalaya, India. Zootaxa, 4838:289–297.

  12. Joshi, S., K. A. Subramanian, R. Babu, D. Sawant, and K. Kunte. 2020. Three new species of Protosticta Selys, 1885 (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae) from the Western Ghats, India, along with notes on P. mortoni Fraser, 1922 and P. rufostigma Kimmins, 1958. Zootaxa, 4858:151–185.

  13. Maddison, W. P., I. Beattie, K. Marathe, P. Y. C. Ng, N. Kanesharatnam, S. P. Benjamin, and K. Kunte. 2020. A phylogenetic and taxonomic review of baviine jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae: Baviini). Zookeys, 1004:27–97.

  14. [BOOK CHAPTER] Kunte, K., D. N. Basu, and G. S. Girish Kumar. 2019. Taxonomy, Systematics, and Biology of Indian Butterflies in the 21st Century. Pp. 275–304, in Indian Insects: Diversity and Science, S. Ramani, P. Mohanraj and H. M. Yeshwanth (eds). Taylor & Francis, UK. pp. 472.

  15. Huang, Z., H. Chiba, J. Jin, Athulya Girish K., M. Wang, K. Kunte, and X. Fan. 2019. A multilocus phylogenetics framework of the tribe Aeromachini (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae), with implications for taxonomy and historical biogeography. Systematic Entomology, 44:163–178.
  16. Marathe, K., A. F. Sanborn, and K. Kunte. 2018. Revision of the genus Rustia Stål, 1866 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae) including a generic synonymy, four new combinations, and two new species from the Western Ghats, India. Zootaxa, 4457:431–443.
  17. Marshall, D. C., M. Moulds, K. B. R. Hill, B. W. Price, E. J. Wade, C. L. Owen, G. Goemans, K. Marathe, V. Sarkar, J. R. Cooley, A. F. Sanborn, K. Kunte, M. H. Villet, and C. Simon. 2018. A molecular phylogeny of the cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with a review of tribe and subfamily classification. Zootaxa, 4424:1–64.
  18. Marathe, K., H. M. Yeshwanth, D. N. Basu, and K. Kunte. 2017. A new species of Platypleura Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae) from the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India. Zootaxa, 4311:523–536.

  19. Joshi, S., and K. Kunte. 2017. Two new dragonfly species (Odonata: Anisoptera: Aeshnidae) from north-eastern India. Zootaxa, 4300:259–268.

  20. Toussaint, E. F. A., J. Morinière, C. J. Müller, K. Kunte, B. Turlin, A. Hausmann, and M. Balke. 2015. Comparative molecular species delimitation in the charismatic Nawab butterflies (Nymphalidae, Charaxinae, Polyura). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 91:194–209.

  21. Kunte, K. 2015. A new species of Hypolycaena (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from Arunachal Pradesh, north-eastern India. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, 48:21–27.

  22. Kiran, C. G., S. Kalesh, and K. Kunte. 2015. A new species of damselfly, Protosticta ponmudiensis (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae) from Ponmudi Hills in the Western Ghats of India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 7(5):7146–7151.



  1. K. Kunte and N. Ravikanthachari. 2020. Butterflies of Bengaluru. Karnataka Forest Department (Research Wing), National Centre for Biological Sciences, and Indian Foundation for Butterflies, Bengaluru. 196 pp, in full colour.

  2. Sondhi, S., and K. Kunte. 2018. Butterflies of Uttarakhand – A Field Guide. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (Dehradun), Titli Trust (Dehradun), National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bengaluru), and Indian Foundation for Butterflies (Bengaluru). x+310pp, in full colour.

  3. Sondhi, S., and K. Kunte. 2018. Butterflies and Moths of Pakke Tiger Reserve (2nd edition). Titli Trust (Dehradun), National Centre for Biological Sciences, (Bengaluru), and Indian Foundation for Butterflies (Bengaluru). vi+242pp, in full colour.

  4. S. Sondhi, and K. Kunte. 2014. Butterflies and Moths of the Pakke Tiger Reserve. Titli Trust (Dehradun), and Indian Foundation for Butterflies (Bengaluru). xvi+200pp, in full colour.

  5. S. Sondhi, K. Kunte, G. Agavekar, R. Lovalekar, and K. Tokekar. 2013. Butterflies of the Garo Hills. Samrakshan Trust (New Delhi), Titli Trust (Dehradun), and Indian Foundation for Butterflies (Bengaluru). xvi+200pp, in full colour.

  6. Kunte, K. 2000. Butterflies of Peninsular India. Universities Press (Hyderabad) and Indian Academy of Sciences (Bangalore). First fascicle from "India: A Lifescape", series editor: Madhav Gadgil.