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  • Julia Longwing Butterfly - (Dryas iulia)

    Julia Longwing Butterfly - (Dryas iulia)

    Alligator tears are a welcome sight to the Julia Longwing Butterfly, a Brazilian transplant that thrives in the heat.

    Staff Writer (2/3/2017): The Julia Longwing Butterfly is a member of the diverse Brush-footed Butterfly family. This means it is related to the Monarch, Viceroy, Malachite, the Fritillary subfamily, Painted Lady and Common Buckeye butterflies. The front pair of legs of these butterflies are very short and almost so difficult to see, people only count 4 legs. In addition to their diminutive length, the front pair of legs are also covered in short bristles, or hairs, like a hair brush.

    The adult feeds on the nectar of flowers in meadows such as the multicolored orange and pink lantana flower and Shepherd's needle. They are also known to land on caimans (small alligator-like animals) and deliberately irritate their eyes with the proboscis so the caiman produces tears. The butterflies then drink the tears!

    This butterfly is fast, not clumsy in flight. It is native to Brazil, but has made a home in Florida and Texas, even venturing as far north as Nebraska. They are capable of producing up to three generations in one year.

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    Details of the:
    Julia Longwing Butterfly

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Julia Longwing Butterfly
    Scientific Name: Dryas iulia
    Other Names: The Flame, Flambeau, Julia Heliconican

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Nymphalidae
           Genus: Dryas
            Species: iulia

    Size (Adult, Length): 82mm to 92mm (3.23in to 3.62in)

    Identifying Colors: orange, black, white

    Additional Descriptors: bristle, hair, four legs, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Nebraska; South Carolina; Texas; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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