December 15, 2012

close up of a butterfly with black, orange and white

While talking with visitors in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, I often feature the Postman (Heliconius melpomene), the Crimson Patch Longwing (Heliconius erato), and the Numata Longwing (Heliconius numata). An unusual trait they share is having many different adult forms. The color patterns of Numata Longwings are typically yellows, oranges, and browns, and the yellow will fluoresce under UV light adding a bit of holiday flare if you shine a black light at them. While you won’t have the opportunity to see the butterflies under UV light, I still encourage you to visit the Butterfly Wing this month. You can see them under white light, where they are just as beautiful.