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Zebra Longwing Butterfly Life Cycle
Heliconius charitonius

 

Zebra Longwing caterpillar

This is the caterpillar of the Zebra Longwing Butterfly.
I believe its a third instar.
The spines look dangerous but its actually safe to touch with bare hands.
I dont have a picture of the eggs yet but they are very similar to the
eggs of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.

The Zebra Longwing Caterpillars host plant is Passion Vine.
This one was found on my Passiflora suberosa Passion Vine commonly known as Corky Stem Passionvine.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly Pupa

Zebra Longwing Butterfly Pupa

Here, my caterpillar has formed its Chrysalis or Pupa.
It looks like a dead leaf.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly Pupa

This is another chrysallis that was just formed and has not dried hard yet.
Looks like a soft jelly.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly Pupa
Zebra Longwing Butterfly Crysalis

After about 2 weeks, the butterfly is ready to emerge.
These pictures are from the day before she emerged.
You can see the wing colors and patterns through the pupa.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Here she is drying her wings before flight. 6/2010

Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Here are some pictures of another Zebra Butterfly drying its wings.
On the first one you can see the extra fluid being released.
This is the fluid it uses to expand the wings. Any excess is excreted.

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Looks like an alien on closeup !

Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Finally, wings fully dried and the Zebra Longwing Butterfly is ready for flight.


Zebra Longwing Caterpillar
Heliconius charitonius
Heliconiidae Family

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