The Zebra Longwing is a butterfly that is from the Heliconliinae subfamily and the Nymphalidae family. This butterfly is found in Central and South America and also has been seen in some areas in North America.
What Does the Zebra Longwing Look Like?
The Zebra Longwing is considered a medium butterfly that has longer wings. The wings are black with narrow stripes of white and yellow. The bottom of the butterfly also is similar with black and white stripes but it is not as dark and has red spots.
Where Does the Zebra Longwing Live?
The Zebra Longwing is found mostly in Central and South America, Mexico, West Indies and in some states in the United States such as Texas, Florida, South Carolina, New Mexico and Nebraska.
The habitat of the Zebra Longwing is in tropical areas, close to moist areas and forests, fields or the edges of forests.
Behavior of the Zebra Longwing
The Zebra Longwing will migrate like some other butterflies. It will migrate from Mexico to Texas and some other areas if the weather gets cooler.
The Zebra Longwing does not have a certain arrival time or how long it will stay and this depends on how far it has to travel. If the butterfly has to travel further, it will stay in the area for a shorter amount of time.
The Zebra Longwing will stay in large groups of up to 60 butterflies during the night to protect themselves from predators and to stay warm. When the butterflies go in large groups, it causes the predators to stay away and is a warning to them.
When the Zebra Longwing groups together, this is called roosting. This happens up to three hours before it gets dark.
The Zebra Longwing has predators such as other insects, mammals and amphibians.
Finding a Mate
The Zebra Longwing will look for females at certain flowering plants. The females will hang around these areas and will eat these certain plants and the male will go to these areas and find a mate.
The Zebra Longwing does not mate with other species on purpose and when this happens it can cause the eggs to not hatch.
What Does the Zebra Longwing Eat?
The Zebra Longwing feeds on both pollen and nectar and the pollen allows them to be toxic to predators.
More Facts About the Zebra Longwing:
- When the Zebra Longwing eats pollen, it allows them to be toxic to predators and if they eat the Zebra Longwing, they will die.
- The Zebra Longwing gets its name because it is striped like a zebra and has longer wings.
- The wingspan of the Zebra Longwing is up to 100 millimeters.
- The Zebra Longwing will sometimes fight with other species that are living close to them.
- The Zebra Longwing is the official butterfly for Florida.
- There are over 8 subspecies of the Zebra Longwing.
- The rainfall does not cause the Zebra Longwing to change its migration pattern.
What Did You Learn?
What is the Zebra Longwing?
The Zebra Longwing is a butterfly that is mostly seen in Central and South America but has also been seen in the United States.
Does the Zebra Longwing have predators?
Yes. The Zebra Longwing has predators such as other bugs, mammals and amphibians.
How does the Zebra Longwing protect itself?
The Zebra Longwing does what is called roosting, when a group of 60 butterflies fly together to make itself look scary to predators.
What is interesting about what the Zebra Longwing eats?
The Zebra Longwing eats pollen which makes it poisonous to its predators.
Why does this butterfly have the name Zebra Longwing?
The Zebra Longwing name was given because it is striped like a zebra and has a longer wingspan.
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