Heliconius numataMargarita Beltrán
Early stages: Eggs are yellow and approximately 1.4 x 0.9 mm (h x w). Females usually place 1 to 2 eggs on growing shoots and tendrils of the host plant. Mature larvae have a white body and black spots, black scoli, and head and anal cap are orange; length is around 2 cm. Caterpillars are gregarious in small numbers (Brown, 1981).
Heliconius numata is distributed from Venezuela to South Brazil. The map below shows an approximate representation of the geographic distribution of this species. The original data used to draw these maps are derived from Brown (1979) which is available at Keith S. Brown Jr. (1979). Ecological Geography and Evolution in Neotropical Forests.
H. numata occurs from sea level to 1,800 m in tall forests. Usually individuals fly rapidly in the middlestory. Females mate multiply and adults roost solitarily or in small groups at night at 2-10 m above ground on twigs or tendrils.
Hostplant: H. numata larvae feed primarily on plants from the subgenera Granadilla, Astrophea and Distephana (Passifloraceae) and from the genera Dilkea and Tetrastylis (Brown, 1981).
Brown K. S. 1981 The Biology of Heliconius and Related Genera. Annual Review of Entomology 26, 427-456.
Cramer, Pieter [1721_1776] 1780. De uitlandische Kapellen voorkomende in de drie Waereld-Deelen Asia, Africa en America. Papillons exotiques des trois parties du monde l'Asie, l'Afrique et l'Amérique. Amsteldam, S. J. Baalde; Utrecht, Barthelemy Wild and J. Van Schoonho-ven & Comp. 4(25/26): 1-28, pls. 289-304.
- Mathieu Joron homepage. Information about genetics and mimicry in Heliconius numata.
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Margarita Beltrán at
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- First online 18 February 2007
- Content changed 12 August 2008
Citing this page:
Beltrán, Margarita. 2008. Heliconius numata http://tolweb.org/Heliconius_numata/72894/2008.08.12 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 12 August 2008 (under construction).