Isabella's Heliconian (Eueides isabella [Stoll]
Wing span: 3 1/16 - 3 1/2 inches (7.8 - 9 cm).
Identification: Forewing elongated with rounded apex. Wings similar above and below. Apical half of forewing black with yellow areas; basal half orange with a black stripe. Hindwing orange with 2 black stripes; white dots along the black outer margin.
Life history: Males patrol for receptive females, who may mate more than once. Eggs are laid singly on tendrils or on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars then feed on those parts of the plant. Adults roost alone on underside of leaves.
Flight: April-July in Texas, throughout the year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Passion-vines (Passiflora species).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical woodland edges, scrub, and brushy fields.
Range: Brazil north to Mexico and the West Indies; periodic immigrant to central Texas.
Conservation: Not required for irregular resident.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.