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Neruda metharme (Erichson 1849)

Margarita Beltrán and Andrew V. Z. Brower
Containing group: Neruda


This member of the black/blue-and-yellow Heliconius mimicry group (e. g., H. sara, H. wallacei, H. doris) is widespread in the Amazon Basin, Venezuela and the Guianas.


Early stages:  Eggs are white and approximately 1 x 0.7 mm (h x w). Females usually place 20 to 100 eggs on growing shoots of the host plant. Caterpillars are gregarious (Brown, 1981).

Geographical Distribution

Neruda metharme is distributed in the Amazon Basin. 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.

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Geographical distribution of Neruda metharme and Neruda godmani. © 2002 Margarita Beltran


N. metharme occurs from sea level to 1,100 m in deep forests. Usually individuals fly slowly and in the middlestory (Brown, 1981).

Hostplant: N. metharme larvae feed primarily on plants from the genera Dilkea and Mitostemma (Brown, 1981).

Geographical races/subspecies

Neruda metharme metharme (Erichson, [1849] (described in Heliconia) widespread in Amazonia
= Heliconia thetis Boisduval, 1870
= Heliconius anaclia Riffarth, 1901 (nomen nudum)
Neruda metharme makiritare Brown & Fernández, 1985 s. central Venezuela
Neruda metharme perseis (Stichel, 1923) (described on Heliconius) southeastern Colombia


Brown K. S. 1981 The Biology of Heliconius and Related Genera. Annual Review of Entomology 26, 427-456.

Erichson, W F. 1849 Insecten, pp. 553-617. In: Schomburgk, R., Reisen in Britisch-Guiana in den Jahren 1840-1844. Im Auftrag Sr. Mäjestat des Königs von Preussen. Versuch einer Fauna und Flora von Britisch-Guiana. Nach Vorlangen von Johannes Müller, Ehrenberg, Erichson, Klotzsch, Troschel, Cabanis und andern. Leipzig, J. J. Weber. 3: i-viii, 531-1262 .

Lamas, G. (Ed.) 2004. Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera. Checklist: Part 4A Hesperioidea - Papiionoidea. Scientific Publishers/Association of Tropical Lepidoptera, Gainesville.

About This Page

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Margarita Beltrán at and Andrew V. Z. Brower at

Page: Tree of Life Neruda metharme (Erichson 1849). Authored by Margarita Beltrán and Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Beltrán, Margarita and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2011. Neruda metharme (Erichson 1849). Version 09 December 2011 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Neruda_metharme/72876/2011.12.09 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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