Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly
Facts about Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly, "Scientific name Scarce Bamboo Page or Dido Longwing butterfly is Philaethria dido". Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly is sometimes called the green longwing Butterfly. There are seven species in the Philaethria genus. The Scarce Bamboo Page or Dido Longwing is a member of Nympalidae. It is part of the Heliconiinae family and the Heliconiini tribe. The Philaethria genus is sometimes considered one of the most primitive genus of the Heliconiine genera.
The Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly are some of the rare species of green butterflies. It is more common for stick insects and crickets to be green than butterflies, even rain forest dwellers like the dido longwing. It is thought that the Scarce Bamboo Page or Dido Longwing butterfly has this coloring because it is mimicking the Malachite butterfly or Siproeta stelenes, using the coloring of a distasteful species to avoid being eaten.
Both the main wings and secondary wings of the Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly species are green. The underside of the wings is gray with brown areas. The Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly have a wingspan of four inches (10.1 cm). They tend to appear as adults between July and December.
The favorite food of the Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly species is Passiflora vitifolia, but the adults will drink the nectar of Cissus and other flowers at the canopy level. They lay their eggs on the underside of the Passiflora plants. The larva that emerge are pale green with red spines on their backs and sides. The larva create a pupae that resembles a bird dropping, a strong contrast to related species that create pupa that look like leaves. The pupa is brown with gray spots.
Female Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly remain in the canopy unless descending to drink from Passiflora plants. Males are much more elusive and wide ranging. They however will drink from both Passiflora plants and mineral rich water, rivers and puddles. The Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly actually probe the ground for nutrients. Both genders are more active when it is hotter. They will return to the canopy when the sun is obscured.
The Scarce Bamboo Page or Dido Longwing Butterfly lives in South America and Central America. Philaethria dido chocoensis, one subspecies, is found on the western side of the Andes mountains. Philaethria dido dido, the most common subspecies, is found throughout South America from Columbia to Bolivia. Philaethria dido panamensis is only found in the tropical rainforests of Panama.
The Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly are common in their range, but they are rarely seen by visitors because they remain in the forest canopy most of the time. Many butterfly watchers mistake Siproeta stelenes for the Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly species, mostly because Siproeta are found around forest clearings and the edges of the forest at heights of up to two meters. The biggest difference between the two to the casual observer is the different shapes of the wings. However, they both do overlap in range in the northern Amazon. However, the Siproeta stelenes ranges farther north, even to Mexico.
The Scarce Bamboo Page or Dido Longwing Butterfly lives in wet tropical forests at altitudes from sea level to 3000 feet (914 meters). They are not found in rain forests at higher altitudes or deciduous forests at any altitude.
The Scarce Bamboo Page Butterfly have rapid flight, but they are very agile.