Heliconius melpomene food source

Neil Jones neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Fri Aug 9 09:14:12 EDT 2002

On Friday 09 August 2002 11:39 am, Alexander Pernstich wrote:
> Hallo Newsgroup!
> We are working about the feeding-behaviour of Heliconius melpomene and
> urgently need help for oure butterflies.
> We know the main food source of the catapillars of Heliconius in Costa
> Rica - Passiflora menisperifolia and P. oerstedii.
> But these two species of Passiflora are not available for us at the
> moment!!!
> My Question (Hope):
> Who knows an alternative food source for caterpillars of Heliconius
> melpomene??
> Thanks in advance.
> With best regards,
> Alex

I never tried H. melpomene but I have reared other heleconids on P. caerulea 
which is just about hardy here in the UK. Looking though my books on tropical 
lepidoptera rearing, whenever melpomene is mentioned they usually just say 
Passiflora. I presume therefore that it is not that specialised in its choice 
of foodplant and that most species will do.  P. caerulea may be a good choice 
since it is the most readily available species here.

I think one of my books goes into more detail, but I can't put my hand on it. 
I must have put it in the wrong place in my  bookshelves.

Neil Jones- Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.butterflyguy.com/
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve


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