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Butterflies of North America -- Eueides isabella

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Butterflies of North America

Isabella's Heliconian (Eueides isabella)
JPG -- species photo

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.

References:

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

Isabella's Heliconian (Eueides isabella)
distribution map
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