The Julia Longwing Butterfly, also called the Flambeau and the Flame because of its vibrant orange colouring, is one of the Heliconian or Longwing family, although it is not a
Heliconius species. It is the only butterfly in the Dryas genus. It's native range is from the south-eastern USA through to north-eastern Brazil.
The male, above left, is usually brighter orange with minimal black markings on the topside; the female, above right, has more black markings and can be duller orange.
The orange colour also dulls with age. The wingspan can reach over 90 mm.
The underside is orangey brown with a red line on the shoulder and a red spot near the body.
The adults drink nectar and eat pollen, giving them improved longevity over other, non-Heliconian (nectar-only) butterflies. The caterpillars eat Passion Flower vines.
Their longevity (several weeks rather than days), activity levels (flying in clearings/on paths) and bold colouring, together with those of the Zebra Longwing (above right with Julia) make both species popular in captivity in Butterfly Houses.