Butterflies - Species, Pictures & Information
Butterflies from around the world
Butterflies from around the world
Over the last few years, I have really enjoyed learning more about butterflies from around the world. One of the greatest ways to do this is to read of course, but if you don't have the opportunity to travel to different countries, you can visit a butterfly house. When I travel around, I keep an eye out if there is a local butterfly exhibit, or butterfly conservatory, garden, etc. I am sharing some of the pictures I have captured at these times. I hope you can get a glimpse of what I have seen and learned.
First picture is of an Indian Leaf Butterfly, and it is called that in part because when the butterfly is closed, you see what looks like a dead leaf. It's a great camouflage for such a brightly colored butterfly. A master of disguise, I wish I had the other side of the butterfly to show you. but it literally looks like a dead leaf. Down to the leaf like veins and smudges, its an incredible creation. Indian leaf butterflies live in a hostile environment. They can escape detection by disappearing into the scenery. They like tropical forests, in Pakistan, India, and are also found in southern China and Taiwan.
Isabella, is the name of the second butterfly you see there. It also goes by Euiedes isabella. It has long and fairly narrow wings, with black, orange, yellow and sometimes a white coloring. The Isabella loves passionflowers. After the can shaped eggs change colors from cream to black and hatch, the caterpillar also goes through some color changes. It begins with a spiny, black and white head, and some orange. From there it changes a couple more times, and does something very interesting when it goes to the chrysalis stage. It seems to have tentacles that are ivory colored, that happen to look just like the passion flower tendrils, the favorite host plant. I saw a picture of that, and it is just incredible to me. If I can find one to share here, I will. It looks like something from out of this world. Once the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, its easy to tell if its a male or a female. If the antennae are yellow, its a female. If they are black, its a male. Something that is neat to know when you are observing them. They are active in the daylight hours and love tropical forests from Mexico through Brazil. The wingspan is anywhere from 2 1/4 inches to 3 inches.
The butterfly with the bright blue colors in it, is the Blue Morpho butterfly. They are truly spectacular in their coloring. Its a metallic blue that seems to sparkle and glisten in the sunlight. There have been some amazon tribe that thought that they were a part of the sky, that had fallen to earth. For this particular butterfly, the colors are not from the scales on their wings, as much as from reflected light. The scales on blue morphos are covered with tiny bumps and crevices that then act as prisms, which refracts the sunlight and gives off an electric blue sheen. How beautiful! When a bird or predator comes close, blue morphos can flash their wings and startle the bird long enough to get away usually. The sudden flash of color seems to startle the predator. Naturalists have found that if they go to a jungle clearing and wave around a blue piece of cloth, that soon after male blue morphos will come around to investigate. Females of this species sometimes have more colors, including shades of yellow, orange and brown. They can be found in tropical forests in Central and South America. Their wing span is fairly large, 5-6 inches across. These are an incredible butterfly to watch, and are among my favorite.
The black and white butterfly, is called The Paper Kite, or Large Tree Nymph. The other name for it is Idea leuconoe. This butterfly likes the seashore and mangrove swamps. It likes to fly during the day in tropical forests . Locations you can find this butterfly are Thailand to Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan. There are about 22 recorded subspecies of this butterfly, but all look pretty similar. As they age, their white color yellows a bit, and their black markings fade to gray. Wingspan is about 3 3/4 - 4 1/2 inches long.
The Clipper butterfly, also known as Parthenos sylvia, appears to have 4 legs instead of the typical six, for a butterfly. The legs are just very tiny, but are there. Clippers have tiger like markings, but there is a variety that have a very beautiful variety with metallic blue wings. Its favorite plant is lantana. These butterflies were discovered in the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific. Being a very strong flier, Clippers have a wider range that extends from India to Sri Lanka, to Malaysia, and from Papau New Guinea to Australia. They love tropical forests, and their wings span 4 to 4 1/2 inches across.
The Tailed Jay, also known as the Green Jay has very beautiful colored bright green spots. It also goes by Graphium agamemnon, and is found in the Philippines. This butterfly is a fast flying one and is a favorite among butterfly lovers. The wings are solid black, with an interesting pattern of green spots. Its a more dramatic form of camouflage. In the jungle, predators can mistake the spots for sunlight shining through leaves. The spots fade to yellow after the butterfly dies. The eggs are laid by females, one at a time on custard apple family of plants, Annonaceae. Since the time between hatching and chrysalis is longer, there is a built in defense mechanism so that the Green Jay doesn't get eaten while in caterpillar stage. It has a built in organ behind its head that can produce an odor that is very unpleasant to would be predators. It is called an osmeterium, and looks similar to the tongue of a snake. If in danger, the caterpillar extends organ, and it drives off the predator. They love custard apple, which grows well in the tropics. They love tropical forests and lowlands. You can find them in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Their wing span is about 4 inches across.
The Emerald Swallowtail or Papilio palinurus, can often go by a few other names as well. It might be called the Banded Peacock, Burmese Banded Peacock, moss peacock, green moss peacock or Princeps palinurus. They are from southeast Asia area. I think the green colors that seem to have an inner light and glitter effect are so beautiful.
The Malachite Butterfly, or Siproeta Stelenes can also go by the name Pearly Malachite. It can be found in Costa Rica, Brazil, and some southern parts of Florida and Texas in the United States. This green is equally beautiful in color, just different and more matte colored than the Emerald Swallowtail.
The Owl, or Banded Owl Butterfly are so amazing in that they have that built in defense mechanism of the appearance of a large eyeball on its wings. This is extremely startling to predators that think the owner of such an eye must be a much larger creature than just a fragile butterfly! These beauties are from Central and South America, and are officially called Caligo Eurilochus.
Many of these butterflies are attracted to the nectar of many exotic flowers. Some of them, like to land on little plates of fruit that have been set out. The fruits are out in the open, warm moist air, and you can imagine they begin to get even more of a smell about them, which is very appealing to these butterflies. It like trying to recreate the scenario that would be found in a rain forest, where fruits ripen on their trees or bushes, and eventually fall off, and break open. What the butterfly then finds is a very syrupy sweet treat! They also may like sugar water, and need lots of moisture. I often see grapes put out, cut in half and just laid open there, next to the plaintains, or bananas and other fruits.
If you ever do your own butterfly
garden, it has been suggested that you can do this on your own to
attract butterflies to your area. If you have a way to do that doesn't
attract lots of other ants and what not, why not try it?
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you learned something new that you didn't know before. Please check back, as I hope to add more butterflies in the future. I will add to this hub, and any new information I find. If you ever get the chance to see these beautiful creatures, please do, and enjoy the wonderful beauty they bring to our world.
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- My Butterfly Garden
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© 2010 Paula
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