The Postman Butterfly (Heliconius melpomene rosina) is a butterfly from South America and central America.
The Postman Butterfly (Rose) is black with a pink-red band on its forewings (front wings). It has a white stripe across its rounded wings. It has a grey body.
Its wingspan measures about 4 centimetres (1.5 inches) across.
This species is native to central America and South America. It prefers mountainous regions, as well as open plains and forest edges. It can also be found near rivers and streams.
To deter predators, it releases a smell. It also tastes terrible to its predators, and is poisonous.
The catperpillars eat plant leaves, and adult butterflies sip nectar from flowers. However, the butterflies also eat pollen from flowers (most butterflies do not eat pollen). Like bees, the Postman Butterflies are also pollinators.
Females lay small eggs on leaves. The eggs hatch into caterpillars. Caterpillars pupate – they make a chrysalis, which is a casing. Inside the casing, the caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis (changes), and it emerges as an adult butterfly.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM