Tigerwings are several genera taking different forms, generally with orange, black and off-white combinations, native typically from southern US through Central America to South America.
Some are called Clearwings, leading to some confusion with the glasswing-type butterflies with clear wings, also called Clearwings.
Many are mimicked by Longwings, especially the Numata Longwing, or mimic Longwings (eg Hecale Longwing); several are similar to the Ismenius/Isabella Tiger Longwings
or mimic each other and many are difficult for the non-expert to identify with precision. Some have beautiful, metallic chrysalides.
The Harmonia Tigerwing Butterfly, Tithorea harmonia, is native from Mexico through Central America to South America. It has many subspecies over its range.
The topside, not shown, is mainly orange with black tiger stripes.
The Cream-spotted Tigerwing Butterfly (above left), Tithorea tarricina, is native from Mexico through Central America to South America. It has several subspecies.
It is very similar to the Hecale Longwing (above centre), Heliconius hecale, with extra white spots around the edge of the forewing, fewer spots on the rest of the forewing and a less long wing shape. Other butterflies, such as the Crimson Patch (above right), Chlosyne janais, which is also native from Mexico through to South America, bear a passing resemblance.
The chrysalis of the Cream-spotted Tigerwing, above, is a beautiful, metallic golden green.
Harmonia Tigerwing chrysalis
The Orange-spotted Tiger Clearwing Butterfly, Mechanitis polymnia, is orange and spotted but not orange-spotted. It is also called the Disturbed Tigerwing. It looks similar to the Numata Longwing (which mimics it) with white spots around the trailing edges. It also resembles other Mechanitis species and has several subspecies. It is native from Mexico through to Brazil.
The Orange-spotted Tiger Clearwing also has a beautiful, metallic silver chrysalis. In the centre image above, one of the two chrysalides shows the butterfly wing prior to emerging.
This butterfly above and below is one of the Tigerwing (Mechanitis) species, most of which are variable and have several subspecies. It could be Mechanitis menapis, the Variable or Menapis Tigerwing, another Mechanitis polymnia, the Orange-spotted Tiger Clearwing or Disturbed Tigerwing shown further above, or Mechanitis lysimnia. the Lysimnia or Confused Tigerwing (or even a Numata Longwing form). In fact the whole subject of Tigerwings/Clearwings leaves us non-experts confused. All are native to the middle Americas.