Butterflies at Home

Longwing Butterflies

The longwing, or heliconian, family consists of a small number of butterflies with elongated wings and slender bodies, and large eyes. It is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from South America as far north as the southern United States. About 48 species of Heliconius are known, and feature varying wing patterns from one locale to the next.

Shown below are a few butterflies with elongated wings.

Zebra Heliconian (Heliconius charithonia)

Also known as the Zebra Longwing

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Zebra Heliconian Butterfly with wings open

Piano Key Butterfly (Heliconius melpomene)

Common in Mexico, but found throughout Central and South America.

Seen here is a specimen at Butterfly World in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Piano Key Butterfly (Heliconius melpomene) at Butterfly World in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Julia Heliconian (Dryas iulia)

Size: 3.0" - 3.5"

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Julia Heliconian Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly (Agraulis vanillae)

Size: 2.5"-3.0"

Favorite host plant: Passion Flower

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Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia in East Texas - October 17, 2016