Heliconius hewitsoni







Forewing Length

34-41 mm


Costa Rica and Panama.

Host Plant

Passiflora pittieri (Passifloraceae).

Pupa Stage

Approximately 8-10 days.

Pupa Description

Similar to Heliconius sapho. The larvae feed gregariously on new, then older leaves. All molts are synchronous, and pupation is often gregarious.

Adults Description

Distinguished from its comimic Heliconius pachinus by having the mostbasal yellow forewing band cross the wing within the cell.

Habits Description

Occurs from sea level to 1,100 m on only the Pacific slope, in association with rain forest habitats. Both sexes visit Psiguria and other flowers and collect large pollen loads. The males sit on female pupae and either mate with them immediately upon eclosion, or mate with the pupa. Often two males will mate with the same pupa, which results in the death of the female butterfly. Pupal mating invariably takes place during the early morning, and the presence of pupae can be detected by encountering several males swirling around a low piece of vegetation, trying to knock the older males from the female pupae.