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Ethilia Longwing (Heliconius ethilla narcaea) | by Rodrigo Conte
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Ethilia Longwing (Heliconius ethilla narcaea)

Ethilia Longwing (Heliconius ethilla) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family. It is found from Panama to southern Brazil. The habitat consists of marginal forests.


The wingspan is 60–70 mm. The forewings are orange with a black margin and four black spots. The hindwings are orange with two black stripes.


The larvae feed on Passiflora species. Full-grown larvae have a white body with an orange head and reach a length of about 17 mm.

(from Wikipedia)


It is known in Brazil as "maria-boba".


Heliconius comprises a colorful and widespread genus of brush-footed butterfly commonly known as the longwings or heliconians. This genus is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from South America as far north as the southern United States. The larvae of these butterflies eat Passion flower vines (Passifloraceae). Adults exhibit bright wing color patterns to signal their distastefulness to potential predators.


Brought to the forefront of scientific attention by Victorian naturalists, these butterflies exhibit a striking diversity and mimicry, both amongst themselves and with species in other groups of butterflies and moths. The study of Heliconius and other groups of mimetic butterflies allowed the English naturalist Henry Walter Bates, following his return from Brazil in 1859, to lend support to Charles Darwin, who had found similar diversity amongst the Galapagos Finches.

(from Wikipedia)

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Taken on February 22, 2014