Tithorea tarricina







Forewing Length

36-39 mm


Mexico to Brazil. Subspecies: Nicaragua to Panama.

Host Plant

Prestonia portabellensis (Apocynaceae).

Pupa Stage

Elongate, chrome-colored, with black markings on the wingpads and abdomen.

Pupa Description

Approximately 8 days.

Adults Description

Distinguished by the black forewing with yellow spots; the black hindwing border intrudes into the orange discal area and forms a toothlike shape at the cell end.

Habits Description

Occurs from sea level to 1,500 m in all forest areas, except those that have a strong dry season. The flight is slow and huttery, and while flying, the butterfly pauses and glides much like its comimic, Heliconius hecale. For a few hours each morning, males perch about two meters above the ground in small light gaps or along forest edges. The female oviposits from late morning until early afternoon, usually on plants in light gaps. The body and wings of this species are tough and resilient, retaining clear bird-beak or lizard in accordance with marks, without losing pieces of the wing. Both sexes visit flowers of Hamelia, Psychotria, Eupatorium, Epidendrum pannioulatum, and various sources of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This species is present in almost all habitats throughout the year.