Orange Tiger – Dryadula phaetusa
Dryadula phaetusa, also known as the Banded Orange Heliconian, Banded Orange, or Orange Tiger, is a species of butterfly (an insect). The sole representative of its genus, the Banded Orange Heliconian is native from Brazil to central Mexico, and in summer it can be found rarely as far north as central Kansas. Its wingspan ranges from 86 to 89 mm, and it is colored a bright orange with thick black stripes in males, and a duller orange with fuzzier black stripes in females.
It feeds primarily on the nectar of flowers and bird droppings, and its caterpillar feeds on passion vines including Passiflora tetrastylis. It is generally found in lowland tropical fields and valleys.
This species is somewhat unpalatable to birds and belongs to the “orange” Batesian mimicry complex
Featured in Colour and Light on November 28/2010