Heliconius erato, or the red postman, is one of about 40 neotropical species of butterfly belonging to the genus Heliconius. It is also commonly known as the small postman, the red passion flower butterfly, or the crimson-patched longwing. It was described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae.
H. erato exhibits Müllerian mimicry with other Heliconius butterflies such as Heliconius melpomene in order to warn common predators against attacking, which contributes to its surprising longevity. It also has a unique mating ritual involving the transfer of anti-aphrodisiacs from males to females.
Recent field work has confirmed the relative abundance of this butterfly.
Heliconius Erato Butterfly
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