The above butterfly was photographed at the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2009. but it is a common butterfly in most ‘live’ butterfly exhibits.
The Orange Banded Tiger is a member of the Heliconian subfamily of brush-footed butterflies (Nymphalidae).Â Even more specifically, they are members of the tribe of butterflies known as the “passion vine butterflies” because their larva feed on one or more species of the Passion Vine (Passiflora sp.).
This is one of the species of butterflies which breed readily in captivity and, therefore, most of the Banded Orange seen in larger butterfly conservatories would come from on-site or local breeding programs.Â The black bands on the female of the species are not as dark or well-defined as in the male but, other than that, the coloration is very similar in the two sexes. They are relatively long-lived in captivity (2 -3 week lifespan) and as a 7cm butterfly are pretty easy to spot in any conservatory setting since they fly fairly slowly and will tend to return to alight on the same spot or group of flower heads with some degree of regularity.
In the wild, the Banded Orange, ranges from the Amazon Basin up through Central America into the area of the Mexico/ USA border.