The Julia, Dryas iulia
The Julia is widely distributed from the southern US through to the subtropical regions of southern South America. Males are bright orange, with a narrow black stripe on the forewings and a black edge on the lower hindwing. Females are duller with more black markings. Their wingspan measure 8 – 9 cm.
Julia adults are rapid fliers, and can be found in forest clearings and open fields. They feed by ‘trap-lining’: each day, the adults feed along a learned, set route of nectar sources. Adults nectar from a variety of plants, including lantana and shepherd’s needle. In addition to nectar, females feed on dissolved pollen, and males will mud-puddle in groups. Julia adults also will feed on liquid from the eyes of the yellow-throated caimen or turtles. Caterpillars, which are brown with red and white stripes, feed on passion vine (Passifloraceae).