Under Construction

Heliconius luciana Lichy 1960

Andrew V. Z. Brower and Margarita Beltrán
Containing group: Heliconius


A geographically-restricted Heliconius species, apparently belonging to the silvaniform group, occurring in Roraima (northern Brazil) and Venezuela. It is involved in Müllerian mimicry with H. antiochus, and perhaps also local dark forms of H. hecale and H. burneyi.


Early stages:  Eggs are yellow and approximately 1.5 x 1.1 mm (h x w). Females usually place eggs singly on growing shoots and tendrils of the host plant (Brown, 1981).

Adult: H. luciana is blackish-blue with white transverse forewing bands. It may be distinguished from mimetic H. antiochus by the presence of submarginal white spots on the forewing which give the white band a more broken appearance. The costal margin of the hindwing in males exhibits the pale androconial scales typical of members of the silvaniform and cydno-melopmene groups. The underside of the hindwing is marked by a costal yellow stripe reminiscent of that found in H. elevatus, to which this species may be related.


H. luciana occurs from sea level to 1,500 m in riparian forest.

Hostplant: H. luciana  larvae feed primarily on plants from the subgenus Granadilla from Quadrangulares, Digitales, and Laurifoliae sections (Passifloraceae) (Brown, 1981).

Geographical Races

Two subspecies/races have been described:


Brown KS (1981) The Biology of Heliconius and Related Genera. Annual Review of Entomology 26, 427-456.

Lichy, R. 1960 Documentos para servir al estudio de los Lepidopteros de Venezuela IV. Un especie nueva del genero Heliconius Kluk (Rhopalocera, Nymphalidae) Heliconius luciana sp. n. Rev. Fac. Agron. Univ. Central. Venez. (Maracay) 2, 20-44.

Lichy, R. 1970 Documentos para servir al estudio de los lepidopteros de Venezuela. Una subespecie nueva del genero Heliconius Kluk (Rhopalocera, Nymphalidae): Heliconius luciana watunna subsp. nov. Bol. Acad. Cienc. Fis. Mat. Nat. (Caracas) 30, 39-47.

Lichy, R. 1960. Documentos para servir al estudio de los lepidópteros de Venezuela (4a. Nota). Un [sic] especie nueva del género Heliconius Kluk (Rhopalocera, Nymphalidae) Heliconius luciana sp. n. Revista de la Facultad de Agronomía (Maracay) 2(3): 20-44, 10 figs. (May) [general; mimicry; ecology]

About This Page

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Andrew V. Z. Brower at and Margarita Beltrán at

Page: Tree of Life Heliconius luciana Lichy 1960. Authored by Andrew V. Z. Brower and Margarita Beltrán. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Brower, Andrew V. Z. and Margarita Beltrán. 2008. Heliconius luciana Lichy 1960. Version 03 July 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Heliconius_luciana/72901/2008.07.03 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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