Philaethria didoMargarita Beltrán and Andrew V. Z. Brower
IntroductionA widespread neotropical species. The butterflies are rapid fliers that prefer to spend their time in the forest canopy, but may be encountered in sunny areas where trees have fallen. Note that fresh specimens exhibit a bright lime-green color on both surfaces of the wings, but that this fades in museum specimens, such as those illustrated above. Like all members of Heliconiina, Philaethria dido larvae feed on various Passiflora species (see Habits), but unlike many Heliconius, appear to specialize on older leaves (DeVries, 1987).
Adults are distinguished from other Philaethria species by the red inner postdiscal band on the ventral hindwing (Constantino & Salazar, 2010).
Early Stages: Eggs are yellow and approximately 1.5 x 1.2 mm (h x w). Females usually place eggs singly under older leaves of the host plant. Mature larvae have a white body with black and red stripes, with black, white and red scoli and yellow head; length is around 2.3 cm. Caterpillars are gregarious in small numbers (Brown, 1981).
Philaethria dido occurs in dense forests. Usually individuals fly rapidly in the canopy or along river courses. Adults roost solitarily at night under leaves (Brown, 1981), and may congregate on wet sand, unlike other <em>Philaethria</em> species (Constantino and Salazar, 2010).
Hostplant: Philaethria dido larvae feed primarily on plants from the subgenera Astrophea, Distephana and Granadilla (Passifloraceae)(Brown, 1981). In Costa Rica larvae feed on Passiflora vitifolia, P. edulis and P. ambigua (Passifloraceae) (DeVries, 1987).
- Philaethria dido dido (Linnaeus, 1763) is widespread in tropical South America east of the Andes from Colombia to Bolivia.
- Philaethria dido chocoensis Constantino, 1999 is endemic to western slopes of the Andes from the Chocó region of northwestern Colombia to western Ecuador.
- Philaethria dido panamensis Constantino & Salazar, 2010 is endemic to Panama, from Chiriquí to San Blas.
Brown K. S. 1981 The Biology of Heliconius and related genera. Annual Review of Entomology 26, 427-456.
Constantino, L. M. 1999 Nuevas especies y subespecies y un nuevo género de Ropaloceros del occidente de Colombia (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae, Ithomiinae, Heliconiinae). Boletín Científico Museo de Historia Natural, Manizales, Colombia 3: 57-68.
Constantino, L. M. and J. A. Salazar. 2010. A review of the Philaethria dido species complex (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae) and description of three new sibling speceis from Colombia and Venezuela. Zootaxa 2720: 1-27.
DeVries P. J. 1987 The Butterflies of Costa Rica and Their Natural History, Volume I: Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae Princeton University Press, Baskerville, USA.
Linnaeus C. 1763 Centuria insectorum rariorum. Upsala. [vi] + 32 pp.
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University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA
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- First online 21 February 2007
- Content changed 09 December 2011
Citing this page:
Beltrán, Margarita and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2011. Philaethria dido http://tolweb.org/Philaethria_dido/72873/2011.12.09 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 09 December 2011 (under construction).