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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Also known as the Yellow-barred Heliconian butterfly.
An unusual feature of the Heliconian butterflies is that because of their diets, they can continue to live and lay eggs for several months, unlike most butterflies who have a life expectancy of only a few weeks.
The reason for this is that most butterflies can only sip fluids with their specialized mouths.
Heliconians take pollen as well as nectar, because their saliva enables them to dissolve the pollen and thus reap its benefits; (i.e. - Pollen is very nutritious and high in protein, which helps the Heliconians to prolong their lives, and continue producing eggs for several months.)
As a result, Heliconians are more dependent on flowers than other types of butterflies, which makes them good pollinators.
At night time, Zebras roost communally, in groups of up to 60, to protect against predation.
Zebras are monomorphic butterflies. (Males and females look alike.)
Diet: caterpillars feed on various species of passionflower, evading the plants' defensive trichomes by biting them off or laying silk mats over them.
Diet: adults feed on nectar and pollen. They are Heliconian butterflies, the only butterflies known to eat pollen, which is probably why they have a long lifespan (about six months, as compared to a more usual one month for other butterfly species).
* In 1996, the Zebra butterfly was named the state butterfly of Florida.
Avg. Body Length: 75 – 85mm / 2.93 – 3.32 “
Avg. Wingspan: 72 - 100 mm / 2 3/4 - 4 "
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera
* Being Brush-footed butterflies, Zebras have a short pair of fore legs that are used to taste food, and two pairs of longer rear legs that are used for propulsion.
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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