Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)

Genus/species: Heliconius doris

Blue morph

Doris Longwing (blue morph)  3267097210_300ac83016_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Appears in several color morphs; hindwing markings may be red-orange, blue, or green. Two white markings on forewing.

Doris Longwing red morph Heliconius doris light sm text

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Central America to northwestern Amazonia. Found from sea level to 1,800 m (5,900 feet) in forest clearings. Fly and feed mostly in the mid-story.

DIET IN THE WILD: Nectar and pollen.

Wing underside

Doris Longwing 4747129049_3c7123e657_b

PREDATORS: Eaten by birds.

REMARKS: Heliconians are unique. Unlike other butterflies, they not only sip nectar, but also use their proboscises to collect and absorb the protein from pollen. This amino acid-rich diet allows them to function and live longer than most other butterflies. Adults can live for up to 9 months.


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