Saturday, September 6, 2008

Zebra Long-winged Butterfly

I went over to my friend's house in Odessa, FL on Thursday and had a great time. Early in the evening, just before sunset, we went for a walk to move her horses for the night.

While I was waiting for her to get the horses, I had a chance to walk around a bit outside the pasture and spotted this beautiful Zebra Long-winged butterfly (Heliconius charithonia). Zebras are also known as Zebra Heliconian. They have the distinction of being declared the official butterfly of Florida.

Zebras can be found in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and feed on the Yellow Passionflower. They are also unusual because the eat pollen as well as sip nectar, which contributes to their long life (about 3 months). They also roost in large groups, returning to the same roost every night.

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