Insects Photo Click 30: Sara Longwing.

Heliconius sara

Photographed in Costa Rica.

The Sara Longwing is a heliconius butterfly that is found from Mexico to the Amazon basin and Southern Brazil.

The species is protected from predation by toxins that are concentrated by the caterpillars which feed on passion flower vines. These toxic compounds found in the vines, are transferred from the caterpillar to the pupae and eventually to the adult stage.

The species keeps breeding all year round and produce several generations every year.

It is also one of the various species from this family of butterflies, exhibiting the unusual practice of pupal mating. This is when males are attracted to female pupae via the latter’s pheromones. They will eventually mate as soon as the female emerges from the pupae.

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