Banded Orange Heliconian (Dryadula phaetusa) - Wiki
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[Photo] Banded Orange Heliconian (Dryadula phaetusa). Shot at the Minnesota Zoo's Butterfly Exhibit. Image of the Dryadula phaetusa Butterfly atop a Purple Coneflower. 135mm (3.8x) effective focal length. Copyright ?? 2005 by April M. King (http://www.twoevils.org/), aka Marumari (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Marumari), donated to Wikipedia under the GFDL.
|Copyright (C) 2005, April M. King|
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, also known as the Banded Orange Heliconian
, Banded Orange
, or Orange Tiger
, is a species of butterfly
(an insect). The sole representative of its genus, the Banded Orange Heliconian
is native from Brazil to central Mexico, and in summer can be found rarely as far north as central Kansas. Its wingspan ranges from 86 to 89 mm, and it is colored a bright orange with thick black stripes in males, and a duller orange with fuzzier black stripes in females.
It feeds primarily on the nectar of flowers and bird droppings, and its caterpillar
forms hosts in passion vines including Passiflora tetrastylis. It is generally found in lowland tropical fields and valleys.
This species is somewhat unpalatable to birds
and belongs to the "orange" Batesian mimic complex (Pinheiro 1996).
Prior to their mating season, males of this species congregate by the hundreds on patches of moist soil that contain mineral salts. When they cannot find such deposits, the insects visit various animals to drink salty secretions from their skin and nostrils (see the image on the left).
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