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The family Heliconiidae includes over 70 different species scattered all over South and Central America. Its expansion goes up to the south states of the USA. This family is characterized by its narrow shape of wing and the viriablity of its population . The heliconiidae generally have long antennae and a thin elongated abdomen. Except for the Numata group, the heliconius background color goes usually from brownish -black to deep black and the brightest colors are not so numerous: we can find red, orange, yellow, white and blue for a few of them . This family is also one of the most difficult to collect for the beginners because of the variation between the representatives of its population. Indeed, sometimes it can be very difficult to identify two specimens because they can look so similar. That's why it is really hard to classify them in many categories: species, sub-species, forms...... Moreover, Helicons are lazy flyers as if aware of the nauseous body fluid they hold inside their body which makes them unedible for predators.
All butterflies from French Guyana caught by Yvan SCHUCHEWYTSCH!!!!
*color pattern of an heliconiidae (erato, numata and melpomene)*