Philaethria dido (Linnaeus, 1763)

Common Name:
Green Longwing

Papilio dido (Linnaeus, 1763)

Natural History:

Seven species of Philaethria are recorded in the Neotropics, and occurrence is recorded in French Guiana, Colombia, Honduras, Brazil.

Philaethria dido has broad geographical distribution in South America (Lamas, 2004) and Central America (Young, 1974).

They look for flowers in all strata of the vegetation.Suck nectar in the flowers and also down on the floor to suck the moist soil. Like other heliconiinaes are also toxic.  It's imitated the color and behavior by Siproeta stelenes - a species of butterfly from Nymphalinae (Otero & Marigo, 1990).

It is abundant in some places in the Amazon, can fly over the canopy of trees, but females come down in gap to lay their eggs on leaves of Passiflora (Young, 1974; Otero & Marigo, 1992).

A study on eggs collected in secondary forest in Costa Rica sowed  the life cycle. Completed cycle in 37-39 days from egg to adult, in laboratory. The caterpillars also show very aggressive behavior, and no sign of aggregation (Young, 1974). This aspect of great importance in closed conditions (e.g. in the butterfly gardens).

In Amazon also occurs Philaethria pygmalion, so sometimes it is difficult to differentiate two species.

Feeding Caterpillars:

Larval food plants recorded in Brazil (Beccaloni et al. 2008). Passifloraceae: Passiflora bahiensis, Passiflora coccinea, Passiflora edulis, Passiflora grandulosa, Passiflora mucronata, Passiflora speciosa,  Passiflora vitifolia.

For the specie Philaethria pygmalion are recorded Passiflora coccinea, Passiflora faroana, Passiflora hexagonocarpa, Passiflora mansoi, Passiflora vitifolia

green, black
urban, forest edge, open, anthropogenic
Young A.M. (1974):
Further observations on the natural history of Philaethria dido dido (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society. 82 (1): 30-41
Otero L.S., Marigo L.C. (1990):
Borboletas beleza e comportamento de espécies brasileiras. Book., Marigo Comunicacao Visual: 1-127
Otero L.S., Marigo L.C. (1992):
Butterflies of Carajás. Book., Rio de Janeiro, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce: 1-76
Beccaloni G.W, Viloria A.L., Hall S.K., Robinson G.S. (2008):
Catalogue of the hostplants of the Neotropical butterflies. Book., London, S.E.A., Ribes, CYTED, Natural History Museum, IVIC: 1-536
philaethria dido bosque

Resting on the ground, Bosque da Ciência, INPA, Manaus, Amazonas

Photo: Kelve Franklymara S. Cezar

philaethria dido nature

Visiting and sucking flowers of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae)

Photo: Anselmo D'Affonseca