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GALLERIES > BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS > ZEBRA LONGWING [Heliconius charithonia]


Zebra Longwing Image @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
GPS: 34.1N, -118.2W, elev=281' MAP
Date: June 10, 2001
ID : ? [3888 x 2592]

Zebra Longwing (, Common Buckeye Butterflies)
 
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
GPS: 34.1N, -118.2W, elev=281' MAP
Date: June 10, 2001
ID : ? [3888 x 2592]

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SPECIES INFO

The Zebra Longwing Heliconius charithonia, (also known as the Zebra Heliconian) is a species of butterfly belonging to the subfamily Heliconiinae of the Nymphalidae. It was declared the official butterfly of Florida (U.S.A.) in 1996.

The butterfly ranges over parts of North, Central and South America, as well as the West Indies. In North America the butterfly is found in the southern parts of the United States including Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. In South and Central America, it has been recorded in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The caterpillar feeds on Passiflora lutea, (yellow passionflower), Passiflora suberosa (corky stemmed passionvine), and Passiflora biflora (two-flower). The adults are unusual among butterflies in that they eat pollen as well as sipping nectar. This ability contributes to their longevity -- 3 months as an adult. Because of their relatively long lifespan and their activity throughout the day, this is a popular species with butterfly houses. Another unusual feature is that adults roost in groups of up to 70, and return to the same roost each evening.

In some publications the butterfly is referred to as Heliconius charitonius, but this is either a lapsus calami or unjustified emmendation of the original name given by Linnaeus in 1767, Papilio charithonia. Cramer in 1777 was apparently the first to publish this incorrect name. Godman & Salvin in 1901 referred to the species as H. charithonie [sic].



                                     



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