Sara Longwing Butterfly
Facts about Sara Longwing Butterfly, "Scientific name for Sara Longwing Butterfly Heliconius sara".
The Sara Longwing Butterfly was first identified as a separate species in 1793. Sara Longwing Butterfly is a member of the Heliconiini tribe of 71 species, the sub-family Heliconiinae, and the Nymphalidae family. The full species name is Heliconius sara.
The Sara Longwing Butterfly is a tropical species found in the Amazon and the Andes. Their range extends from the Amazon basin in southern Brazil to Mexico.
The top of the Sara Longwing Butterfly wings is blue in the middle, with a white band, followed by a black band, a white band and then a black tip. The underside of the Sara Longwing Butterfly wings is brown with white splotches, sometimes with red highlights. The body is black with white speckles. The long, straight antennae are black. Sara Longwing Butterfly have rounded fore-wings. The Sara Longwing Butterfly total wingspan is 55–60 mm. Sara Longwing Butterfly tend to have a delicate fluttering flight.
The Sara Longwing Butterfly species tend to have the same color and pattern of the Heliconius melpomene species in the same area. The subspecies of Sara Longwing in Costa Rica, H. Sara Theudela, has a broad white edge on the hind wings that the other species don’t possess.
The Sara Longwing Butterfly lay their clusters of ten to fifty eggs on the leaf buds of the Passiflora species, particularly the passion vine. The larva eat the Passiflora family of plants. The larva are protected by eating the cyanogenic leaves of this plant. They metabolize the cyanogenic glycosides enzymatically, so that they don’t die of cyanide poisoning but become toxic to predators that eat them. This is why the Sara Longwing Butterfly can eat this otherwise toxic plant.
Adult Sara Longwing Butterfly drink flower nectar and they prefer the Palicurea flower. The females can eat the pollen in addition to drinking the nectar. Female Sara Longwing Butterfly who don’t eat the pollen lay a fraction of the eggs of those that do. They will eat the pollen of the Gurania flowers, Anguria and Psiguria. It is thought that the amino acids in the pollen provide nutrients needed for greater egg production, and it may account for their longer than average adult life span.
The adult Sara Longwing Butterfly can memorize the location of nectar and pollen sources. It has been scientifically proven that some adult butterflies have a mental map of their favorite flowers. They tend to follow a pre-defined circuit between preferred Psiguria plants. They’ll gather around preferred flowers shortly after a rain, when nectar production peaks.
The male Sara Longwing Butterfly will congregate around the female pupa, whose pupa looks like a passion vine leaf, ready to mate with her as soon as she emerges. They are alerted to her pupae by the pheromones she emits. In contrast, the Sara Longwing Butterfly will even copulate with her before she’s even emerged.
The Sara Longwing Butterfly can live as long as nine months as an adult. This is unusually long for a butterfly species. The Sara Longwing Butterfly breed throughout the year, producing several generations in a year. Males try to stake out a territory with several larval females.
The Sara Longwing Butterfly are common in the open areas of lowland jungles. They are also found around the forest edges. The Sara Longwing Butterfly species live between sea level and 4900 feet (1500 meters). A tropical species, they are not found in the subtropical forests of Mexico’s mountains. "Scientific name for butterfly Lepidoptera".