Butterflies – Tiger Longwing – Heliconius ismenius
Photographed at the Butterfly exhibit in the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2011.
The Tiger Longwing, also referred to as the Ismenius Longwing and various other similar combinations of the two is a brush-footed butterfly which lives naturally in Central America in a range reaching south into Venezuela and north into the southern reaches of Mexico. The Tiger Longwing’s flashy orange and black colors are an indication that the butterfly has some other way to protect itself from predators. In this butterfly’s case, the form of protection comes from the chemicals of the host food Passiflora sp. that the larvae integrate into their tissues and which are passed along to the adult stage.