A Zebra Longwing Butterfly, Heliconius charitonius. The Zebra Longwing is common across the country. They have an exceptional lifespan. Several months is not uncommon as compared to a week or two for most butterflies. Zebras have a range from South America, Central America, Mexico, parts of the lower coastal Southeast and Florida. Not much of a strayer or migrator, Zebras have on rare occasion been spotted in the Midwest. The zebra longwing butterfly caterpillars eat the leaves of passion flowers. The passion flower contains a toxin that gives the zebra longwing an unpleasant taste and makes it poisonous to predators. The butterfly drinks the nectar of a wide range of flowers. When it is disturbed, the zebra longwing butterfly makes a creaking sound by wiggling its body. At night, large groups will roost together on tree limbs. They return to the same roost night after night.
Shot in Santa Barbara, California.
nikkor 60mm macro