Heliconius erato is a common butterfly of South America and is one of about 40 species within Heliconius, and there are many different variations. The are native to the Andes Mountains.
The females are unusual in that they feed on pollen as well as nectar. The Heliconius are relatively long lived and can survive as adults up to nine months.
These butterflies use pheromones to locate their mates and are quite “amorous” in their mating behaviors. They are not endangered and thrive in the southern US and other subtropical environments. Helicons erato is also sometimes called the Common Longwing.