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Zebra Heliconian Butterfly

Heliconious Charithinia

Description:

The Zebra Longwing butterfly or Zebra Heliconian, is unmistakable with its long narrow wings, which are striped black and pale yellow. Zebra Heliconian is the Florida State Butterfly.

Habitat:

Passiflora Suberosa/ Corkystem Passion Flower Vine is the most common of the four species of passion flower vines. Its blooms are smaller than a dime. It is the most used caterpillar food plant of the Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Heliconian and Julia Dryas Butterflies. I planted this vine in my backyard with the hope of recording the whole metamorphosis cycle and so far I have succeeded with my first Zebra Heliconian emerging from her chrysalis this morning. There are Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars in the same small vine and I see two chrysalises ready which butterflies should emerge over the weekend.

Notes:

An unusual feature of the longwing, or heliconian, butterflies is that the adults are relatively long lived. Most other butterflies live only a few weeks, but heliconians continue to live and to lay eggs for several months. Their tropical or semitropical habitat makes this possible; furthermore the feeding habits of the adults are important in prolonging their lives. The adults feed on nectar of flowers, like most other butterflies, but a special characteristic of heliconian butterflies is that they can also feed on pollen.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Machi
Machi 4 years ago
Gulf Fritillary
Agraulis vanillae http://bugguide.net/node/view/567/bgimage


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2 Comments

LilianaCampozano
LilianaCampozano 4 years ago

Thank you Machi. I have a Corkystem Passion vine in my backyard and both caterpillars are eating it. This morning I saw the Zebra Longwing emerge from that crysalis.

Machi
Machi 4 years ago

The caterpillar is a gulf fritillary. The butterfly is a zebra longwing (http://bugguide.net/node/view/533), and the chrysalis might be too. I would separate this into different spottings.

LilianaCampozano
Spotted by
LilianaCampozano

Spotted on Dec 11, 2015
Submitted on Dec 11, 2015

Spotted for Mission

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Tiger-Striped Longwing Zebra longwing heliconian Tragic Heliconian Zebra Longwing Chrysalis

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