Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

Red Postman

Heliconius erato petiverana

1 species ID suggestions

bayucca 5 years ago
Heliconius erato petiverana


krista 2 years ago

This is very pretty

bayucca 4 years ago

Today certainly with DNA, in older times with genital disection and microscopic examination. Some of the specimens were very carefully described and according to these quite ineffective taxonomy compared with the knowledge of today there were and will be several renaming in fauna and flora. And looking the same means specially looking on pictures the same. If you have the native specimen you certainly will see some small differences and then you need the whole (!) literature about the species and even then you may be misleaded or you will find some confusing results. Heliconius are probably the most scientifically examined butterfly in the world, so there is quite a bulk of serious literature around.

Ignacio Gamboa
Ignacio Gamboa 4 years ago

Wow, Very interesting! And another question... How do they known it's a subspecies if they look exactly the same? DNA testing or something like that?
Thanks a lot for the info

bayucca 5 years ago

The only difference between species and subspecies is the location ;-)... Petiverana is the one from Costa Rica. Beside this there is no chance to separate them. It is not even possible to separate it from its mimicry Heliconius melpomene (rosina), also from Costa Rica. At least from the dorsal view. If you have a ventral view then it is possible. Some researchers say that there are some features for distinguishing, but others do not believe in these theories (size of the white stripe, form of the red patches).

Ignacio Gamboa
Ignacio Gamboa 5 years ago

Thanks bayucca for the subspecies' info, but i have to ask... What's the difference between the species and the subspecies... They look almost the same to me (at least in the photos i found on google)

bayucca 5 years ago

Correct ID thanks to the ventral view ;-)... Subespecies would be Petiverana.

Costa Rica

Lat: 9.80, Long: -84.13

Spotted on Mar 25, 2012
Submitted on Mar 25, 2012

Related spottings

Heliconius Heliconius Heliconius Heliconius sp.

Nearby spottings

Unknown spotting Stained Greenstreak Cave Centipede Hypercompe Moth Caterpillar