Area of zoo
Butterfly house
Enclosure status
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Heliconius melpomene

Postman butterfly facts

  • The passion flower vines they eat as a caterpillar help them to store toxic chemicals they then retain for the rest of their lives as a deterrent from predators. 
  • This butterfly is poisonous and features red patterns on its wings as a warning to predators.

Postman butterfly identification 

The postman butterfly has large, long wings with an orange stripe down each forewing. Try our Spotter's Guide on your next visit:

London zoo butterfly identification guide showing differences in colour and shape of 15 butterflies.
Family inside a butterfly house
Postman butterfly wings closed on a leaf
Visit London Zoo's Butterfly Paradise

What do postman butterflies eat?

As caterpillars they’ll eat passion flower vines, while adults drink nectar and eat pollen.

Where do postman butterflies live?

Native to Mexico, this species can also be found living in Central and South America.

Postman butterfly habitat 

This species is associated with slow-flowing streams in pine or pine-oak forests. 

Postman butterfly threats

Habitat loss and pollution.

Our Butterfly House

Father and daughter looking at butterflies in butterfly house at London Zoo.
Explore our butterfly garden

Butterfly Paradise

Immerse yourself in Butterfly Paradise, and explore our tropical garden whilst butterflies from across the globe flutter above you.

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