Heliconius doris







Forewing Length

35-45 mm


Mexico to the Amazon Basin.

Host Plant

Passiflora ambigua (Passifloraceae).

Pupa Stage

Approximately 8-10 days.

Pupa Description

Of general Heliconius shape but without spines or protuberances, and general color reddish brown.

Adults Description

The hindwing ray pattern distinguishes this species from all others in Costa Rica; the color of the pattern is highly variable and can be yellow, red, blue, green, or any mixture of these colors. Although there are numerous subspecific names applied to these color forms, it appears that all colors can arise from the same clutch of eggs.

Habits Description

Found from sea level to 1,200 m, in association with all forest habitats. Generally encountered during the morning as solitary indivuduals along forest edges and in light gaps, buts the insect can be very common in the forest canopy. Some authors consider H. doris to represent a subgenus (Laparus) of Heliconius because it has a different chromosome number, and is behaviorally somewhat different from other species. Although Heliconius doris is often said not to collect pollen, in Costa Rica this species is frequently found with the largest pollen loads of any Heliconius. It is of interest that Heliconius doris does not fit into any particular mimicry pattern, unlike all the other species.