Heliconius sara

Sara Longwing or Sara Longwing

Basic Information

General information

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

Garden Specific Information

Estimated Number In Flight: 3
Total Number of Pupae Received: 6422
First Flown On: 10/21/02
Last Flown On: 05/30/24

Species Range:

  • “NorthAmerica” “SouthAmerica”

Host plants:

  • Passifloraceae

Food Source

Adults can be seen feeding on Hamelia, Palicourea, Lantana, and Psiguria.

Etymology Of Name

The genus Heliconius is broken into two parts: Helico = Helix and nous = reason and knowledge as opposed to sense perception. The specie sara means princess.


The adults prefer rainforest habitats where they are usually found along forest edges or in the secondary growth vegitation.

Life history

Females lay small yellow eggs in clusters of 10 to 50 on the new leaves and tendrils of the host vines. Caterpillars feed on the host plant until they form their chrysalis, which is usually found on the host vine as well. The adults can live an average of 2 to 3 months.


There are multiple generations continuously throughout the year.

Fun Facts

The larvae feed on passion vines which have a variety of noxious chemicals in them so animals will not eat them. These larvae have found a way around the plants defenses,which allows them to process and store some of the compounds in their bodies making them and their adult forms poisonous to would be predators.