Heliconius ismenius

Ismenius Longwing

Basic Information

General information

Family: “Nymphalidae”
Sub Family: “Heliconiinae”
Estimated Lifespan 30 Days

Garden Specific Information

Estimated Number In Flight: 7
Total Number of Pupae Received: 4983
First Flown On: 10/21/02
Last Flown On: 06/13/24

Species Range:

  • “NorthAmerica” “SouthAmerica”

Host plants:

  • Passiflora alata
  • pedata
  • ambigua
  • platyloba

Food Source

Adults are known to feed on a variety of nectar plants.

Etymology Of Name

The genus Heliconius is broken into two parts: Helico = Helix and nous = reason and knowledge, as opposed to sense perception. Ismenius comes from Ismenos, a Greek river god.


The Ismenius Longwing prefers the middlestory of sunny tall forests.

Life history

Females mate with multiple males and lay one or two eggs under the younger leaves of a host plant. When they hatch, the larvae feed on the host plant until they form pupae. The larvae prefer to feed in solitude as to avoid easy detection by predators.


There are multiple generations each year which makes it possible to find the adults year round.

Fun Facts

Like all Heliconius, the Ismenius Longwings are long lived individuals, lasting over two months in the adult stage. At night, adults will congregate in large groups, usually at the forest edge, on the tendrils of host plants and trees.