Zebra Longwing Butterfly Heliconius charithonia/charitonia (charithonius/charitonius)

Zebra Longwing Butterflies topside
Zebra Longwing Butterfly topside
The Zebra Longwing Butterfly, one of the Heliconian family, is native to a swathe of the middle Americas, from the southern US through Central America/Caribbean to northern South America.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly underside
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
The underside has a crimson red stripe at the shoulder and several crimson spots near the body.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly spots joining
In keeping with the name Zebra, the topside background colour is usually black and the stripes usually ivory white or pale yellow. Male and female have a similar appearance.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
The stripes can be quite yellow or even greenish yellow.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
The background can be chocolate brown, particularly (but not only) on faded older individuals.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Unusually for butterflies, but in common with other Heliconians, the adults eat pollen as well as drinking nectar from flowers.
Their resulting longevity (3 months as adult butterflies rather than 1-3 weeks), activity levels and bold colouring, make the species popular in captivity in Butterfly Houses.