The classic white and black stripes of the Zebra Butterfly are bold and stately on this Longwing Butterfly.
A common sight in moist, tropical environments, the Zebra Butterfly can be found in that habitat all year round. It is highly identifiable by the yellow/white-on-black coloring when fully developed. Some stripes are yellow, others are white, but all species have a zebra-like pattern on the tops and bottoms of their wings. A few, small red spots near the body of the butterfly can be seen on both sides of the forewings. Its forelegs are considerably shorter than its back legs as is the case with all members of the Brush-Footed Butterfly family. Though active flyers throughout the day, Zebra Butterflies actually will band together at night in large groups.
The caterpillar is a gray or white with spots that may appear as black or brown. They feed on the leaves of the passion vine plant which contains noxious chemicals that the caterpillar retains in its body through adulthood. This makes both the caterpillar and adult unsavory meals for most predators.
Scientific Name: Heliconius charithonia
Other Name(s): Yellow-barred Heliconian
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 75mm to 85mm (2.93in to 3.32in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.