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Orange Julia Butterfly

Updated on July 10, 2011

Dryas Julia, or Orange Julia


Dryas Julia, or Orange Julia Butterfly

The Orange Julia butterfly is bright and cheerful and is among many other beautiful long wing butterflies. My experience with them has been from a butterfly conservatory, but I enjoy learning about them. They are naturally found in Mexico, South America, and in some of the very southern United States. You may see one very rarely in Brownsville Texas or in Florida.

The bright orange color seems to exude light from it, and the picture with the sun coming through the wings gives a feel for how beautiful but fragile these creatures are. The Orange Julia comes from the Dryus Genus, and goes by Dryas Julia, as well as Julia Heliconian. In some areas, you may hear them referred to as the Flambeau, and this is likely because its wings are a flaming orange color.

The wingspan of the Orange Julia is about three to three and a half inches across. The shape is lovely. They are mostly orange, with a bit of brown pattern along the bottom of the wings. Their main characteristics that help to identify are the color and shape.

Orange Julia buterflies

Enjoying Lantana flowers
Enjoying Lantana flowers


The adult Orange Julia's feed on nectar from flowers. They prefer the red or blue flowers. The males can often be seen around mud.

If you are able to see one close up, you will notice a light black veining in the bright orange colors on the wings.  On the males, you can sometimes see a dark spot on the forewing.  For females, you can see a black band that crosses the forewing.  Both of the sexes have a beautiful fine line along the edges in black.  These have small scallops and bear orange crescent spots.  If you were to see the underside, you would see a much paler color of orange, or even brownish color.  There would be creamy colors or white markings on the fringe of the hindwing. 

They are known for their "dragon fly" type of flying. The adults are present all year long, at lower elevations. Orange Julia's prefer the outer edges of a subtropical woodland. They like open edges, and can be found in the Florida Everglades even. Where they live, they are considered fairly common, and I would love to see one in person one day.

Places to find the Orange Julia

show route and directions
A markerMexico -
get directions

B markercosta rica -
Costa Rica
get directions

C markerSouth America -
South America
get directions

New Life, The Orange Julia Caterpillar

The male Dryas Julia may spend an entire day looking for a female one. When he finds her, he fans her so that the scent on his scales can be detected by her. If she likes the male, she gives off her own scent , which is a sign of acceptance. Then she does a vibrating movement, and the two eventually mate together.

After emerging from the eggs, the larvae eat Passiflora, or pasionflower.  They have reddish brown with black hairs on a spiny body. 


This butterfly also does its share of mimicking.  Orange Julia does mimic the Heliconians in form.  The wings are more narrow, slender and beautiful.  There is a great number of species, and two of these are found in the hotter parts of the Gulf States. 

© 2010 Paula


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      A pretty name and butterfly both! Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Julia!!! 4 years ago

      i love this butterfly! My name is Julia!!!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you so much Denise!! I really appreciate that.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      FloBe, I agree, why do they have to have such a short life span? I have to remind myself that they do have the time from before they were a butterfly, when just a caterpillar. So that helps some, at least for me. They are sure beautiful though while they are living. Thank you for the comment.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Cmhypno, thank you so much!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Stephchick! I really appreciate that.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I just love this hub. From one butterfly lover to another! Thank you for such joyful photos and info. I voted it up and awesome/beautiful. Happy Holidays.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Another beautiful butterfly that you have introduced me to oceansnsunsets - these orange julia butterflies are absolutely gorgeous!

    • FloBe profile image

      FloBe 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Another beautiful butterfly. It amazes me that something so beautiful has such a short lifespan.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Gorgeous butterflies! I learned a lot about the Orange Julia Butterfly - simply lovely!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Pamela, thank you so much, very glad to hear that!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Another beautiful butterfly and its a real beauty. I really enjoy the butterfly hubs.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Prasetio, thank you! I feel the same way you do about butterflies. Take care too!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was so beautiful. I love this butterfly. This animal always made the world so colorful. Thanks for share with us. I give my Vote for you. Take care!