Heliconius numata: Numata Longwing butterfly

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The Numata Longwing [Heliconius numata] is a brush-footed butterfly species native to most of South America, known for its mimicry of Melinaea butterflies. Both Heliconius numata and the species of Melinaea it resembles are unpalatable to predators, making this a case of Müllerian mimicry, a mutualistic reinforcement of the same negative signal.

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Heliconius numata is a neotropical species, less common in virgin forest than in areas of secondary growth. Both males and females are attracted to red or orange flowers, or indeed to pieces of cloth colored red or orange. Eggs and larvae are typically found on low-growing vines of Passiflora.

Photos: Florida Museum of Natural History, Butterfly Rainforest, Gainesville, Florida  [20140727]

Source: Wikipedia


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