Heliconius lucianaAndrew V. Z. Brower and Margarita Beltrán
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).
Two subspecies/races have been described:
- Heliconius luciana luciana Lichy 1960, Roraima (northern Brazil) and upper Orinoco in Venezuela
- Heliconius luciana watunna Lichy 1970, Rio Cuchivero, central Venezuela
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]
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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
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- First online 24 June 2008
- Content changed 03 July 2008
Citing this page:
Brower, Andrew V. Z. and Margarita Beltrán. 2008. Heliconius luciana http://tolweb.org/Heliconius_luciana/72901/2008.07.03 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 03 July 2008 (under construction).