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Glasswing Butterfly Including the Pink Glasswing Butterfly

Updated on July 29, 2015
Au fait profile image

C. E. Clark has an unquenchable curiosity for things unique, and loves to bring those things she discovers to the attention of her readers.

Greta oto is the scientific name for this exquisitely unique butterfly. The glasswing butterfly (its most common English name) is delicate in appearance, beautiful, and exotic. The glasswing butterfly’s Spanish name is "espejitos", which means "little mirrors." Indeed, the wings of the butterfly do at times reflect the colors around them the way a mirror might.

The glasswing butterfly does not have colored scales patterning the areas between the veins of its wings like most butterflies and since those areas are translucent, they appear like glass, which accounts for the name. Their wingspan is usually between 2.2 inches and 2.4 inches. The edges of its wings are dark brown and sometimes have a red or orange tint to them. The body is dark colored.

Glasswing caterpillar
Glasswing caterpillar

Glasswing Butterfly Reproduction and Feeding Habits

Glasswing female butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on tropical flowering plants in the Solanaceae family that can be found in Florida, Texas, and as far south as Chile. These plants are one to four feet high and usually evergreen. All parts of these plants are toxic and will cause severe abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting, if eaten.

The caterpillars of the glasswing butterfly are green, blending in well with the foliage of the plants where they hatch, as do most caterpillars. The caterpillars eat the toxic plants, such as nightshades, oleanders, and dogbane which are deadly, and it is thought the caterpillars may be toxic themselves as a result.

The adult butterfly is believed to be toxic as well because the males feed on flowers that have poisonous nectar. The toxic substances in these flowers are pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which in the male glasswing butterfly convert into pheromones that attract the females for mating.

The glasswing also feeds on the droppings of insect eating birds to obtain its requirements of amino acids (proteins).

Cestrum, one of the toxic plants that glasswing butterflies like to lay their eggs on and eat.
Cestrum, one of the toxic plants that glasswing butterflies like to lay their eggs on and eat.

Glasswing Butterfly Range

Preferring the rainforest, the range of the glasswing butterfly is from Mexico to Panama, and Costa Rica, and as far south as Venezuela. It is a migratory butterfly.

Costa Rica has at least 64 different species of glasswing butterflies that may fly as far as seven to eight miles over the course of a day in its travels. It can fly as fast as 8 miles an hour for short periods of time and has the ability to carry 40 times its own weight! While it looks dainty, it is in fact very strong.

Available mounted from Butterfly Utopia.Com
Available mounted from Butterfly Utopia.Com

Pink Glasswing Butterfly

Steve Johnson, writing for eHow.com reports, “One special species of glasswing butterfly out there has a special "blush" look to it. The pink glasswing butterfly -- which can be found in the Amazon region -- has clear wings at the top, which turn pinkish towards the bottom, making for a butterfly with matching blushing wings.

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    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      DeborahDian, thank you for coming back to enjoy these beautiful photos again, and for the vote and share. So glad you enjoyed!

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you for this wonderful information about these beautiful creatures. I loved the photos. Voted up and shared!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for commenting and sharing. I think Houston may be just a wee bit too far north to suit these butterflies, but sometimes they get things a little wrong and things migrate a little beyond their believed perimeters. So keep your eyes open, you could be surprised one of these times to find one of these beauties in your garden. After all, Houston isn't that far north of Mexico.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We have many butterflies that visit our yard but I have never seen a Glasswing butterfly. The photos in this hub are certainly beautiful. Brightened my day just looking at them! Will share once again.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for coming by to enjoy the beautiful photos. The idea that so many amazing things in our world just happened by chance seems pretty ridiculous to me. Thank you for the votes, pin and share, too. Hope you are off to a great week! Blessings to you too . . .

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Patsybell, thank you for commenting, voting on, pinning and sharing this hub! Glad you enjoyed!

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      You introduced me to a new beautiful butterfly. Thanks. Nice Hub. Sharing, Voted up, Pin.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, anyone who can say there is no God has never seen the beauty of the Glasswing Butterfly. I come here often just to look at the pictures you have posted.

      Voted up, UABI, Pinned to Amazing HP and shared.

      Blessings

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      loki1982, thank you for stopping by. So glad you enjoyed these beautiful photos!

    • loki1982 profile image

      Jared 3 years ago from Dallas

      Wonderful butterfly photos. I really like the 3rd and 4th shots.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Pamela Kinnaird W for coming back for another look! So glad you enjoyed.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Lovely even the second time around. I read this article with gusto and loved the photos, too. Then I remembered my 'forget/forgot attribute' is working lately, so I skimmed the comments and sure enough, I had read this 13 months ago. But it was worth another reading. Beautiful. And I am amazed at how many types of these dainty little butterflies there are said to be.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Deborah-Diane, for taking time to view these beautiful and amazing photos! It has been a tough winter and my sister tells me they have lots more snow on the way up in WI.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      What a wonderful series of photographs and I thought that, after a tough winter, people would enjoy looking at these reminders of summer!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for voting on, pinning, and sharing this article!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, these are so beautiful, I love butterflies, but these are works of art. And you know how I feel about art.

      Shared, voted up, ABI, and pinned to Amazing HubPages

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you moonlake for pinning this hub!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by, Glenda. There are some of these butterflies in captivity. Glad you enjoyed.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I came back to pin this to my butterfly board.

    • profile image

      Glenda 4 years ago

      Oh.. how exquisite, I have never seen such a beautiful butterfly. It almost makes one want to go to a rainforest just to see them live. Where can they go when the rainforest are gone?

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you rajan jolly, for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Glad you enjoyed.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I had no idea there were butterflies with almost transparent wings. This is a great read and I enjoyed learning about the glasswing butterfly.

      Thanks. Voted up, interesting and shared.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      They are exquisite! So glad you enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Kathryn Stratford for reading and comenting on this hub. So glad you enjoyed it!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      I would love to see these beautiful butterflies in person. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I have never heard of these butterflies before. They are so pretty! Thanks for sharing the photos and information on this unique insect.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping in Shyron. These butterflies are incredible and I'm so glad you enjoy the photos!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Pamela Kinnaird W, thank you for taking time to read and comment on this hub. Glad you enjoyed the photos. They are exquisite!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      prasetio30, thank you for commenting & voting on this hub! So glad you enjoyed!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      vespawoolf, thank you for reading & commenting on this hub, and especially for sharing! I hope you get to see the live butterflies one day soon!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      The Dirt Farmer, thank you for stopping by and having a look at these great photos of glasswing butterflies! So glad you enjoyed!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      2besure, thank you for stopping by! So glad you enjoyed the photos!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Happyboomernurse, thank you for reading, commenting, voting, and sharing this hub! So glad you enjoyed the photos. They are gorgeous and I wish I could say I took them myself.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      The pictures are beautiful, I really enjoy looking at them. Thanks for sharing these with us and the story also.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      rebeccamealey, thank you for commenting on this hub. These butterflies are unique and beautiful. So glad you enjoyed them!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W, thank you for reading, commenting, voting, and especially for sharing and linking to this hub! The glasswing is supposed to be in southern FL and TX, but since I don't go there very often I wouldn't know. There might be some in Houston, but I'm thinking more likely near the Mexico Border around Brownsville, etc. Plant some Cestrum bushes and see if you can attract some . . . :) It could happen.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I'd never heard of this butterfly or seen a single image of it. It is so unique. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of it with us. Beautiful photos!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love butterfly. Thanks for writing a wonderful hub about butterfly. Very well written and I really enjoy all pictures. Voted up!

      Best wishes, Prasetio

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      What beautiful photos! I've seen the glasswing butterflies here in Peru, mounted in frames for the tourists to buy. I didn't realize their range was so extensive. It's also interesting that they feast on toxic plants and are toxic themselves! I've voted this up and shared it.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Glasswings really are beautiful--and aptly named. Great photos!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I never heard of these. So delicate and beautiful! Thanks for sharing this marvel!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      I love butterflies and often take nature walks in places where they are likely to be, but have never had the pleasure of seeing a glass wing butterfly (I've never traveled outside the East Coast of USA.

      They look absolutely exquisite in these stunning photos.

      Thanks for sharing this information.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Beautiful! I have never heard of the glasswing butterfly. It looks like a sort of stained glass decoration. Great photos! Voted up and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Such a beautiful butterfly! I don't think that I have ever spotted one in person. Voted UUBI, added it as a link to my Cockrell Butterfly Center Pictures hub and will share. Happy New Years Day!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      moonlake: Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. Glad you enjoyed. Glasswings are beautiful, but really all butterflies are. That's why so many people go to so much trouble to encourage them to visit with butterfly bushes, etc. I'm sure the butterflies in your garden are beautiful too.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      angelo52: Thank you for your comment -- I'm glad you stopped by to take a look and read it too!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Mary615: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub, and for following AND for your kind compliments about my writing! All very much appreciated. So glad you enjoyed these beautiful butterflies!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      tillsontitan: Thank you for your high praise and for taking the time to read and comment. Also, thank you for linking to this hub.

      I read your butterfly hub just a few minutes ago, and I saw nothing mundane. A great hub, well written and beautiful pictures as is your habit. I will be linking this hub to your momentarily . . . Thanks again!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Aren't they beautiful? This is the first time I have seen a picture of one. I thought my butterflies in my garden are pretty but these are gorgeous. Very interesting article. Voted Up.

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      These Central and South American butterflies sure are pretty. Good article too. Glad I read it.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I've never heard of this kind of butterfly, but it is perfectly beautiful! I am very interested in butterflies. I've been busy lately "raising" the Monarchs.

      I voted this Hub Up, etc.etc. and will share.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      What absolutley beautiful butterflies! Knowing how beautiful butterflies are is no surprise but this one is incredible and something I'd never seen or heard of before either.

      The photos are gorgeous and your information interesting and educational! (I linked this to my butterfly hub, even though mine is more mundane.)

      Voted up, beautiful and interesting.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you tammyswallow for taking time to read and comment on my hub, and for sharing AND pinning. The photos are magnificent and I'm so glad you enjoyed them.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      In all my life I have never seen a glass wing butterfly and I don't think I have ever heard of them. These are just stunning and you have some wonderful photos. Pinning and sharing! I love nature hubs.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      thank you again, R2-D2-2, for taking time to leave some comments. Glad you enjoyed the photos. They are beautiful aren't they? :)

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      gail641: Be sure to check out my future hubs. Take care . . .

    • R2-D2-2 profile image

      R2-D2-2 5 years ago from USA

      Wow! These are something. Have never seen them before. Will send this around to some of my friends because I know they will like to see them to. You have a lot of interesting articles.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      Your welcome.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Glad you enjoyed this hub. The glasswings are beautiful and unusual.

      I was initially thinking I probably shouldn't do a hub on glasswings because I thought most people had probably already seen them before. I put all the available information I could find on them into this one-stop hub.

      Thank you as always Shyron, for reading and commenting.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Glasswing butterflies are truly amazing aren't they? The photos are incredible. Wish I could say I took them myself. Glad you enjoyed my hub. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment -- very much appreciated gail641!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      TToombs08: Thank you for taking time to look at the photos of these magnificent creatures. Appreciate very much your taking time to comment. Glad you enjoyed!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Glad you enjoyed this hub learner365. The photos really are amazing. Thank you for reading and commenting. Always appreciate when my readers take time to do that.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

      How beautiful, Never heard of them. The pictures are breathtaking. Thank you for sharing.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I never knew about the glasswing butterfly, either. They are very beautiful and unique. The photos are beautiful. I voted up.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      And just when I thought butterflies couldn't get any prettier. They don't even look real! Nicely done, Au fait! Voting up and more.

    • learner365 profile image

      Saadia A 5 years ago

      Wow i never knew about the Glasswing butterfly.Thank you for sharing your info and the lovely pictures as well.Voted up and interesting !!!