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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!

   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 while most butterflies can only sip fluids with their specalized mouths, Heliconians can 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. 

   Also, while most butterflies come in just one or two different variations, the Postman has more than 150 different variations, called morphs. They display a broad array of colors and patterns.

Avg. Wingspan: 5.5 - 8 cm / 2 1/2 - 3 1/3 "
Diet: caterpillars feed on passion flower leaves, storing up toxic chemicals retained throughout their lifespan.
Diet: adults prefer flower nectar, rotting fruit, and pollen.

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera

   * There are currently 29 identified subspecies of Postman butterflies, with many of them mimicking other Heliconius species.
* Being Brush-footed butterflies, Postman butterflies 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.
Red Postman chrysalis
Red Postman  Heliconius melpomene.jpg
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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