Heliconius erato petiverana roosting gregariously.
A Heliconius erato petiverana female roosting, hanging from the wings of another. Note the characteristic roosting posture of females (both individuals here are female), with their hindwings covering the forewing band.
Normally, a natural background is nice, but artificial feeders are quite colourful…. Heliconius erato erato
Heliconius erato petiverana laying an egg on P. biflora.
Another photo of this persistent H. ismenius male. The female is raising her abdomen up, which is probably a rejection behaviour – at least it certainly prevents the male from getting to her abdomen from the side, and also probably releases pheromones from scent glands in the female’s abdomen (which may be anti-aphrodisiac).
I’m in Panama at the moment and wandering down to the insectaries to take photos whenever I can. We collected some H. ismenius on pipeline road and have them in the cage – the males are incredibly active and persistently court this poor female. The female has started laying eggs on P. quadrangularis and P. ambigua.
A mating pair of Heliconius ismenius. Note the polymorphism in the hindwing – the female has a black band across the centre of the hindwing that is not present in the male. I’m not really sure whether this represents hybridisation between two geographic forms or a stable polymorphism. The female was collected already mated from the field and remated in the insectary.
A Heliconius erato erato female, feeding on hotlips (Cephaelis tomentosa)
Intact pollen tetrads collected from Heliconius sara females during pre-roosting interactions in La Selva field station, Costa Rica.
Digested pollen grains collected from Heliconius sara females at nocturnal roosting sites in La Selva field station, Costa Rica. This is the fist report on nocturnal pollen feeding. Compare to the next picture where the pollen tetrads look full and not “deflated”.