Tag Archive: brushfooted butterflies

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.


California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/3506886372/

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden www.lewisginter.org/sexually-dimorphic-butterflies/

Butterflies and Moths  www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Dryas-iulia

Tree of Life  tolweb.org/Dryas_iulia/70435

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/158533/details

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-133

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

Genus/species: Eueides isabella

Isabella’s Longwing 3142851869_bae440d7fe_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The forewing is elongated with a rounded apex. Wings are similar above and below. Apical half of forewing is black with yellow areas and the basal half is orange with a black stripe. E, isabellas hindwing is orange with 2 black stripes with white dots along the black outer margin.

Wing span 7.8 – 9 cm (3 1/16 – 3 1/2 in.in)

wing bottom

Isabella’s Longwing 3142838083_ea56d1fbc3_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Isabella’s Longwing is widely distributed in Central America and throughout northern South America south through Brazil. They occasionally migrate to the southern U.S., especially Texas. Found from sea level to 1,500 m (4,900 feet) in canopy of the tropical forests.

Isabella’s Longwing IMG_2621

DIET IN THE WILD: Caterpillars: host passion vine leaves; adults: nectar and pollen.

REPRODUCTION: Males mate with receptive females, which may breed more than once. Not a pupal mater. (See Zebra Longwing). Eggs are laid singly on underside of host plant.

Isabella’s Longwing 4747789342_133268328d_o

MORTALITY: Like all Heliconians, they are long-lived.


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017 

Butterflies and Moths of North America  www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/eueides-isabella

EOL eol.org/pages/155267/details

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-13d

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3142851869/in/album-72157608449327886/

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

Genus/species: Morpho peleides

Top-side (dorsal)

Blue Morpho 3175390675_70bdc9fe60_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Among the largest butterflies in the world, wing span from five to eight inches.

Color of Life notation: Color Sources, structural color, iridescence.
Wing tops are an iridescent blue, edged with black, caused not by a true color, such as the pigment dye of blue jeans, but by structural coloration resulting from tiny, overlapping scales that cover their wings. Because of the precise angle of the ridges they form, the scales which reflect blue light back to our eyes. The contrasting underside of the wing is brown with a confusion of eyespots that can startle a potential predator, thereby allowing the butterfly to escape predators. This is called deistic behavior.
Females less brilliantly colored.

Ref. California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit, May 2015

underside and topside

Blue Morpho Butterfly 4330619902_ec31e9c058_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropics of Latin America from Mexico to Colombia. Feeds and sleeps on or near the forest floor, but when mating, they fly throughout forest layers.

DIET IN THE WILD: Caterpillar, it chews leaves but adults can’t chew so they drinks juices of rotting plants and animals, tree sap, and wet mud, sipping all with its straw-like proboscis.

Underside (ventral)

REPRODUCTION: Like most butterflies, males release pheromones to attract females. Fertilized eggs hatch in about 9 days. The caterpillar of  M. peleides is red-brown with patches of bright green.

Blue Morpho Butterfly 8677456846_7df05acbb0_oLONGEVITY: Total lifespan: egg to adult, about 4.5 months; adults (butterflies): about 1 month.

PREDATORS: Birds (jacamar and flycatcher) and large insects.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated, but under some pressure as trophies for collectors and deforestation of tropical forests..

REMARKS:  M. peleides brilliant reflection is so intense that pilots report seeing their flash of color as the butterflies warm themselves above the treetops. Different angles of view (and so different angles of reflecting ridges) produce variations in the shades of blue perceived.


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/3175390675/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-12J

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/139904/details

WAZA  www.waza.org/en/zoo/choose-a-species/invertebrates/insect…

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.

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/

WordPress Shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-13s

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