Common Name: Postman
Scientific Name: Heliconius melpomene
Wingspan: 6-8 cm
Location: From Central America to southern Brazil
Many species of this genus have forms that match so closely that they are very difficult to distinguish. The underside of the form illustrated is similar to the upperside, but is lighter and has red spots at the base of the hindwing. These butterflies tend to avoid direct sunlight. Males patrol during the day for females, and also mate with females as they emerge from the chrysalis. After mating, males place a repellant chemical on the female’s abdomen to keep other males from mating with her. The adults ingest flower nectar and pollen.