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

Genus/species: Dryas julia

Female below

Julia Longwingbutterfly female 3779880432_9f39949f0e_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Elongate forewings, thus the common name Males bright orange above and below; upper side of hindwing has narrow black border on outer margin. Female duller, with more pronounced black markings above.

Wing Span: 3 1/4 – 3 5/8 inches.

Male below

Julia Longwingbutterfly Male 3506886372_2a38133601_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Brazil north through Central America, Mexico, West Indies, peninsular Florida, and South Texas. Strays as far north as eastern Nebraska. Found in subtropical forest openings and edges, and nearby fields.

DIET IN THE WILD: Caterpillars feed on passion vines; adults on nectar from flowers.

DIET IN CAPTIVITY: Butterflies in the Academy Rainforest thrive on nectar provided by biologists and by the many flowers in the exhibit. The also take up juices and pulp from soft fruits at feeding stations.

Male below

Julia Longwingbutterfly Male IMG_0422

REPRODUCTION: Like all species in the subfamily Heliconiinae, also known as heliconians or longwings, adults lay eggs only on select host plants of the genus Passiflora, commonly called passion vines or passion flowers. D. julia eggs are laid singly on new growth; caterpillars feed on leaves.


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