Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Common Name: Sara Longwing
Scientific Name: Heliconius Sara
Wingspan: 55–60 mm
Location: Mexico to the Amazon Basin and southern Brazil
The Sara Longwing is a colourful species: the dorsal wing surface is black with a large medial patch of metallic blue that is framed by two bands of white on the forewings. The ventral wing surface is a dull brown to black with muted bands and small red spots on the proximal margin. Inhabiting rainforests, adults are commonly found among sparser secondary growth and along forest margins. They reproduce continuously, with several generations produced every year. The adult stage has a lifespan of 2–3 months. Like other heliconiids, females seek the new growth of passion flower vines on that to lay their small yellow eggs, in clusters of 10–50. The vines contain toxic compounds that the caterpillars are immune to; as they feed upon the vines, the caterpillars concentrate the toxins within their tissues. After pupating (with the chrysalis also found on the host vine and camouflaged like a leaf), the adult retains the toxins and is thus protected from predation.
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