The longwing butterfly caterpillars eat the leaves of passion flowers. The passion flower contains a toxin that gives the zebra longwing an unpleasant taste and makes it poisonous to predators. The butterfly drinks the nectar of a wide range of flowers. The adults are unusual among butterflies in that they eat pollen as well as sip nectar. This ability contributes to their longevity—3 months as an adult.
When it is disturbed, the zebra longwing butterfly makes a creaking sound by wiggling its body. At night, large groups (up to 70) will roost together on tree limbs. They return to the same roost night after night.
© Istvan Kadar Photography