Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
FELDER & FELDER, 1861
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - HELICONIINI
Eueides heliconioides, Rio Madre de
© Adrian Hoskins
The tribe Heliconiini, colloquially known as Longwings, includes 71
species, all confined exclusively to the neotropics. The butterflies
are characterised by possessing distinctively patterned elongated
forewings and a delicate fluttering flight.
Heliconiini includes the genus Heliconius
( 39 species ), together with the smaller genera
The 12 Eueides
species are similar to other Heliconiines but smaller in size. Some
such as isabella are mimics of
tiger-complex Ithomiines, while others including
lineata are very similar to Dryas
and Dione in appearance. A few such as
vibilia closely resemble
Eueides heliconioides falls into yet another group which
strongly resemble Laparus doris. To
further confuse matters the butterfly was known by the name
Heliconius eanes until the 1970's!
A major characteristic which helps to distinguish
Eueides from similar taxa is the shape
and length of the antennae - in Eueides
these are never more than half the length of the costa; in
Actinote they are about the same length
but are very strongly clubbed. In the tiger-complex Ithomiines they
are long, tapered, cream in colour and dropping. In
Laparus they are about two-thirds the length of the costa,
The underside of
heliconioides is similar to that of
Laparus doris, but in that species there are white lines
radiating to the outer margin of the hindwings, and there is an
additional subapical white bar on the forewings.
occurs in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Eueides heliconioides, Manu
cloudforest, 1700m, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
This is a lowland and mid-elevation rainforest species, occurring at
altitudes between 100-1800m.
I have no data relating to heliconioides,
but the following generalisations apply to the genus
Eueides and are probably relevant : The
eggs are greenish white and laid singly on the underside of leaves.
The caterpillars are variously coloured but share the
characteristics of having a bold lateral stripe, branched spines on
the back and sides, and prominent head spines. They feed on the
older leaves of Passiflora (
Passifloraceae ) and Erbilichia (
pupae are pale in colour, marked with black specks, and have 4 short
forward-pointing spines on the back of the abdomen.
Males visit damp sandbanks, peccary
wallows, muddy puddles and the edges of small pools and lagoons to
imbibe moisture from which they extract dissolved minerals. These are
probably passed to females during copulation, and may be essential in
the production of viable eggs.
sexes occasionally visit Lantana and
Psiguria flowers, but spend most of their
time high in the forest canopy.