The Sara Longwing (Heliconius Sara Theudela) is a common, tropical butterfly at the edges and in the more open areas of the lowland jungles of Costa Rica.
Sara Longwing butterflies have long, rounded forewings with two broad, white bands. Their ventral wing surfaces are dark brown and spotted with red at the base, while their dorsal wing surfaces are black and washed with metallic blue.
The Costa Rican subspecies H. Sara Theudela has a broad, white edge on the hindwings which is absent in other H. Sara butterflies.
The Sara Longwing butterflies seemed to be especially fond of these brilliant orange Palicourea (Palicourea sp.) flowers, and a small, fluttering cloud of these lovely butterflies would quickly gather around these popular flowers whenever the frequent rains subsided.
Sara Longwing butterflies lay their eggs on passionflower (Passiflora spp.) vines, and since Sara Longwing butterflies are one of the species of Heliconius that engage in pupal mating, adult male Sara Longwing butterflies will also seek out these larval food plants. Male Sara Longwing butterflies will search for the distinctive pheromones of female pupae on the passionflower vines. Once a male finds a female pupa ready to emerge the next day, he will wait there perched on it and then mate with the new female just as she is emerging.