The Heliconius Xenoclea is one of 39 varieties of Heliconius butterflies, popularly known as Longwings, and are found only in the neotropics. They are easily recognised by their distinctive patterns, elongated forewings and characteristic delicate fluttering flight. Most species produce a variety of different colour forms or morphs, which are often mimetic of unpalatable Danaines, or of other Heliconius species occuring in the same vicinity.
They get their nickname from how they learn home ranges, memorizing choice nectar and pollen sources, host plants and communal roosting sites. They are able to plan the most efficient route by which to visit all nectar / pollen sources in the vicinity by using simple calculations akin to what mathematicians call the “travelling salesman algorithm”.
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