This group (Heliconiidae) of butterflies is very diverse, comprised hundreds of similar-looking species.
These poisonous butterflies specialize on Passiflora (passion flower) plants. The pictures below show other
species in the same family. The species are superficially similar due to a phenomenon called "Batesian
mimicry." They are all poisonous, and the various species look similar so that potential predators come to
recognize the colors. Hence, looking similar benefits all the species that share the colors. This
evolutionary mechanism was first recognized among Amazon butterflies by English scientist Henry W. Bates.
Click below to see the photos and information on leafcutter ants:
PAIR OF LONGWING BUTTERFLIES
Here is a pair of longwing butterflies (Heliconius spp.) of two different species. Note how they share
orange and black warning colorsfor reasons outlined above. The species on the left is most likely Heliconius numata
LONGWING BUTTERFLY (1)
See above for information on this type of butterfly, a type of Heliconid. This species is possibly a variety or race of
LONGWING BUTTERFLY (2)
See above for information on this type of butterfly (unidentified).