ANIMAL: Julia Butterfly Dryas iulia Type of Animal: Brush-Footed Butterfly Habitat: Subtropical/tropical forest, gardens, cattle grazing lands, clearings, forest margins, open woodland, shrubby areas, parks, tropical woodland, oak hammocks, hardwood hammocks, meadows, riverbanks, deciduous forest, cattle pastures Location(s): Ranges from Texas & Florida through Caribbean all the way to Brazil & Bolivia. Can sometimes be found as far north as E Nebraska. Introduced to Thailand, Malaysia, & Singapore. Appearance: Elongated orange wings w/ black markings, males brighter than females & females have more black markings. Caterpillars go through 5 instars (development stages) before pupating-1st instar pale yellowish green, 2nd instar yellowish brow, 3rd instar dark yellowish brown w/ white patches being more extensive, 4th instar looks similar to 3rd instar, 5th instar has more noticeable black frontal side of head w/ back of head yellowish to orangy brown & base color pale pink to purplish brown, body surface more decorated w/ many small & transverse black patches/bands, all instars have long branched black spines. Food/Diet: Adults eat lantana nectar, shepherd’s needle/beggarticks nectar, Eupatorium nectar, creeping oxeye nectar, pollen, & crocodilian & turtle tears (for salts & minerals). Caterpillars eat passion flowers/passion vines & garden roses. Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in butterfly gardens, zoos, aquariums, & museums Lifestyle: Found in groups of 10-300 butterflies Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Caterpillar Group: Flutter Gestation: 3-4 days Life Span: 1.5 months Body Length/Wingspan: Male: 2.95-3.2 in Female: 3.15-3.6 in Caterpillar: 0.62-0.63 in Main predators are birds. Females lay eggs singly on host plants. After females lay eggs, they hatch into caterpillars, going through 5 instars (development stages). In between each instar, exoskeleton molted. 1st instar lasts 2.5 days, 2nd instar lasts 2 days, 3rd instar lasts 2 days, 4th instar lasts 2 days, 5th instar lasts 3.5-4 days. In total, caterpillar stage lasts almost 2 weeks. After 5th instar, caterpillar stops eating & wanders around, finding underside of plant, spinning silk pad from which it hangs, becoming pupa. Pupa stage lasts 5-6 days. After pupa stage, they become butterflies. Adult stage lasts 2-4 weeks. Adults forage along set route of nectar sources each day-this is called “trap-lining.” Introduction of butterflies into SE Asia derive from 1 butterfly house in Phuket, Thailand releasing them during Buddhist ceremonies & weddings. Fun Fact(s): Caterpillars can cause skin rashes when handled due to spines. These butterflies will agitate eyes of crocodilians & turtles to drink mineral/salt-infused water. While not toxic, these butterflies have bright coloration to deter predators. This is called Batesian mimicry. When roosting, they resemble dead leaves.