Heliconidae

Heliconidae

 

a subfamily of diurnal butterflies of the family Nymphalidae. There are about 200 species; they are widespread throughout tropical America. The Heliconidae are comparatively large (with a wingspread in some instances of over 6 cm), narrow-winged butterflies, brightly colored (a colorful design on a generally black background); the body of the caterpillars is covered with branched thorns. The bad odor and sharp taste of the substances excreted by the Heliconidae render them inedible and thereby protect them from birds and other enemies. The bright coloring of the Heliconidae is one of the classic examples of the so-called warning coloration. The morphological resemblance to the Heliconidae of butterflies belonging to other families (which do not secrete caustic substances) furnishes proof of their adaptive imitation.

References in periodicals archive ?
algumas borboletas das familias Nymphalidae e Heliconidae e alguns besouros das familias Chrysomelidae e Cicindellidae), vesicantes (e.