Postman Butterfly – Heliconius erato
Captive live butterflies photographed at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago.
Captive longwing butterflies have unusually long lifespans and high fecundity rates, which largely result from their augmented diet. Instead of surviving on food stores from the larval stage or solely sipping flower nectar, adult longwing butterflies are avid pollen eaters. This trait makes them eminently suitable for butterfly farming and butterfly gardening.
Heliconians are brightly colored butterflies with long forewings. Once placed in their own family, they are now considered closely related to the fritillaries.
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