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Owl Butterfly

Updated on September 12, 2014

Owl Butterflies at Butterfly House

Owl butterflies have a wonderful way of hiding from their predators. The outside of the wings have owl spots which scare off their predators. There are approximately 20 species of owl butterflies.

The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, MO has three different species of owl butterflies; The Pale Owl, The Forest Giant Owl, and The Magnificent Owl. They get their owl butterflies from butterfly farms in Costa Rica and Suriname.

photographs taken at The butterfly House by Mary Beth Granger

Owl Butterflies

tropical butterly

In their natural habitats you can find owl butterflies ranging from Mexico to the Amazon basin. They are found in the understory of rainforests and also in secondary forest regions. Owl butterflies are crepuscular butterflies which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.

Owl Butterfly Life Cycle

four stages of life

Owl butterflies go through four life stages. Here are the four stages along with the approximate life span of each cycle.

1. Eggs- they are in the egg stage for 10 days to 2 weeks

2. Caterpillars- after the eggs hatch the caterpillars emerge and feed on the leaf. This stage lasts 2-3 weeks

3. Chrysalis- this stage (sometimes mistakenly called the cocoon) lasts for 10 days to 2 weeks. The chrysalis is brown and disguised to look like a dead banana leaf.

4. Adult Butterflies- the adult owl butterfly lives over 4 weeks long.

Forest Giant Owl Butterfly

Eurilochus

This photo shows a Forest Giant Owl with it's wings spread open. The proper name is Caligo eurilochus. The butterfly was named for Eurylochus, the second-in-command to Odysseus during the return to Ithaca folowing the Trojan war.

Although on the outside this butterfly will look very similar to other owl butterflies when it's wings are open you will see that both the forewings and hindwings are iridescent blue with dark edges.

The Pale Owl - Caligo Memnon

This owl butterfly was named for Memnon, a Greek warrior and Ethiopian King. You will note that when the wings are open the forewings are a pale gold color with a dark band near the edge and the hindwings are a deep blue color.

The Magnificent Owl - Caligo atreus

The Magnificent Owl is name for Atreus, the mythological king of Mycene. Of the three species at The Butterfly House this one is the most impressive. The undersides of its wings are bright and striking, with a distinct gold edging to the hindwing. The upper sides of the fore-wings have bright bluish purple bands.

Magnificent Owl with Open Wings

I found this beautiful owl on a tree with it's wings extended so I could see the beautiful colors! What a contrast to the outside of the wings that you see in the photo above this one.

Two Owl Butterflies

Here you can see two owl butterflies side by side. One with it's wings closed and one with the wings open.

Owl Butterfly among the Orchids

I captured this owl butterfly perched on a group of orchids that were sitting on a bench waiting to be planted at The Butterfly House.

Owl Butterflies Feeding

The butterflies enjoy feasting on very ripe bananas. You will notice several owl butterflies at this feeder, however the one on the far left that has several spots is not an owl butterfly. It is actually a blue morpho and with it's wings closed is often mistaken for an owl butterfly because of the spots.

October Owls and Orchids

The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, MO is having a special event for the month of October called Owls and Orchids. During this time there will be an additional 1500 owl butterflies in the flight house, along with over 100 brightly covered orchids. In addition they will be staying open until 7 pm on Tuesday evenings so that more people can see these beautiful owl butterflies in flight.

For more information go to The Butterfly House website at butterflyhouse.org

Credits


Thank you to Jessica Deering

Guest Services at The Butterfly House

I am a volunteer at The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri. The information for this lens was taken from a training session for the volunteers put on by Jessica Deering.

Have you ever seen an owl butterfly? - stop by and leave a note

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    • MartiLawrence profile image

      Marti Lawrence 3 years ago from Grain Valley, Missouri

      I'd never heard of the Owl butterfly - they are beautiful!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I don't think that I have ever seen an owl butterfly but I certainly admire their defensive attire. Animals and insects sure do have wonderful ways of preventing other creatures from attacking them.

    • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image

      EbooksFreeWeekl1 5 years ago

      Nice lens. I didn't know much about the Owl Butterfly until this lens. My familiarity prior was with the Monarch and the incredible migration journey I've seen in a documentary.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      What beautiful images. Blessed!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      What a gorgeous creature and you have really done it proud with the beautiful tribute. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. HUgs

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Wow these are beautiful! I love butterflies. I've only seen owl butterflies in pictures, never in person. Great lens. Thanks for sharing this!

    • KReneeC profile image

      KReneeC 5 years ago

      Such beautiful pictures! Greatlens!

    • profile image

      livingfrontiers 6 years ago

      No, but now I know what to do with the old bananas! Just need to set them out, and hope the racoons don't catch on...thanks for the amazing pics!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      I haven't. But they are beautiful. Thanks for sharing all of the information.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      No I have not. These are very pretty. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • charlb profile image

      charlb 6 years ago

      I am completely fascinated by this beautiful insect...it brings so much happiness I think. I had never heard of the owl butterfly but I sure would like to see one someday. Pity that we don't get so much butterflies anymore!

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      ANOTHER Gorgeous Lens!

    • LyricalVenus profile image

      LyricalVenus 6 years ago

      Wow, I didn't know these existed but they are beautiful!

    • profile image

      lc_online 6 years ago

      I don't recall ever having seen an owl butterfly, but they certainly are beautiful, and the wing colors seem to be unique.

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 6 years ago

      only in the viennese butterfly house - i am sure you would like it, so if you ever visit Vienna, Austria put it on your list

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 6 years ago

      Never have seen them. They are gorgeous, as are your photos.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 6 years ago from Connecticut

      The owl butterfly is very interesting. Congratulations on another exceptional lens!

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 6 years ago

      Very interesting, I can't say I've ever seen an 'owl butterfly' very unique for sure! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have never seen an owl butterfly, in fact I had never heard of them before today. Beautiful photo's.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 6 years ago

      I've only seen photos of them, and the ones you have here are spectacular. My favorite is the owl butterflies feeding. Wow!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Beautiful photography. This lens has been blessed and added to my animal alphabet lens.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I have never seen an owl butterfly so this lens is a real treat for me - these butterflies are incredibly beautiful, thanks for sharing!

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      Not in nature... but I love butterflies, and I was so proud when I "breeded" a butterfly that by chance had transformed in my house, last January! It was so exciting to see it eating!!

      I´ve written a couple of lenses about butterflies too (without such beautiful pictures, anyway!) ;)

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      I'm not sure if I've seen one, but will definitely look out for Owl butterflies after reading this fascinating lens.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      Only here on this exciting lens. Really enjoyed it. Thanks.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      How very beautiful!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      I've never seen these - they're wonderful and great pictures thanks.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Amazing pictures of the owl butterflies. The big eyes on the wings seem to stare at me when I look at them. What a hoot. Lensrolled to Summer Flowers in my Garden and Spring Flowers in my Garden.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      What a cool butterfly! Love the pictures! Blessed!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      wow. wonderfully presented lens.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Stopped by with a Shamrock Blessing and I'll feature this on The Best Insect Pages on Squidoo.

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 7 years ago

      I've seen lots of owl butterflies, but never knew that's what they were called!

      With Love and Gratitude,

      Jeremiah

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 7 years ago from Ireland

      Wonderful butterfly photos.Reading this reminds me that in July 2010 I visited Richmond, VA where my partner's cousin has a massive butterfly collection - and he owns the worlds most expensive butterfly! I must put it on a lens one day as I have so many pics.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Congratulations on the Purple Star and added to my Lensography of Purple Stars :-)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Amazing, simply amazing

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      It such a pleasure to stop by here again to see these wonderful photos of the butterflies. Oh yes, I love them too.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I don't think I have seen one, but if I have, I wouldn't have known what it was, since I hadn't read this yet. Beautiful work, and congrats for being one of the top 45.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Just wanted to stop by and say congratulations on being listed on the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase! You already now I love this lens and that I think you are one of the best!

    • profile image

      sandralynnsparks 7 years ago

      I have never seen this type of butterfly before - how lovely! Congratulations on being included in the 2010 showcase! Your lenses always deserve notice...

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      If I did, it would have been in Niagara Falls, Canada at the Butterfly Conservatory. There were thousands of beautiful butterflies. In my own garden we have mostly solid yellow butterflies. Your photos are wonderful, as always. Congratulations on your 2010 Giant Squid Showcase honor.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Stunning photos and congratulations and here's wishing you all the best for 2011.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I've passed this way before but wanted to congratulate you and this excellent lens for making it into the 2010 Giant Squid Showcase!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      These Owl Butterflies are simply gorgeous! Congrats on being one of the Best 2010 Giant Squids Showcase lenses!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I loved this in October and I love it now! Congratulations for being one of the Best 2110 Giant Squid Showcase!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I loved this in October and I love it now! Congratulations for being one of the Best 2110 Giant Squid Showcase!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Congratulations on being one of the 45 on the Best of 2010 Squidlist. This is a well deserved lens. :)

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 7 years ago from Ohio

      Absolutely beautiful! I wish I lived closer, I'd come visit the Butterfly house! congrats on making the Giant Squid Showcase! But, I was sad to discover they only are butterflies for 4 weeks . . . sigh . . . At any rate . . . Happy New Year and Congratulations!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations for being included in The 2010 Giant Squid Showcase by the SquidTeam! How cool is that! Happy New Year, Squidhugs from Kathy

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 7 years ago

      Congrats on making it into the Giant Squids 2010 showcase! Happy New Years!

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      What a lovely lens. I learned a lot, as vie never seen these and I really enjoyed your photos. Happy New Year!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on your Purple Star. Lensrolling to Owl iPhone Cases!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 7 years ago

      These butterflies are beautiful! Lensrolled to butterfly-wonder. Congratulations on your purple star! It was well deserved!

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      I learned a few things and got to visit your beautiful lens! Congrats on your purple star. It is certainly well deserved.

    • profile image

      zakaria 7 years ago

      very nice lens about butterflies.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      Never seen an owl butterfly. Awesome! Great photography.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I don't recall ever seeing one,but I look at all butterflies and flowers as two of the greatest wonders in the world.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 7 years ago

      Gorgeous! You are a wonderful photographer. *Blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      We love Butterflies and have seen Owl Butterflies in special Butterfly Houses in the UK - beautiful lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Gotta say, this a really beautiful lens! ~ My oh, my!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I know you love your butterflies.. and can see why looking at this amazing example. No, I'd never seen or even heard of an owl butterfly before but I think it is absolutely lovely! Wonderful photography.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 7 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I don't know if I've seen one IRL before. But this lens sure is FULL of amazing photos. Well done! I am a huge fan of nature, including creepy crawlies and fluttery fliers.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Oh my -- this is beyond beautiful -- I think boo-tiful for sure! I am enraptured by the loverly butterflies you have captured.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 7 years ago from California

      I never heard of an Owl Butterfly...they are beautiful as are you photos...

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 7 years ago

      This is the first time I have ever seen an owl butterfly. A very appropriate name indeed. Those large big eyes would certainly scare off the predators. Great lens.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Whey are a very startling-looking species with that big round 'eye' on the wings!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 7 years ago from West Virginia

      It's fascinating that butterfly wings can look different on the top than they do on the other side. I've planted some weigela and have noticed more butterflies flying in my back yard now. I so appreciate seeing them, it is such a treat.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your photos of these wonderful creatures share your love of them with us so clearly. Great work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Owl butterflies are awesome! Never heard of them before! Blessings to you!

    • elizajane202 lm profile image

      elizajane202 lm 7 years ago

      Gorgeous and I see why they get their name. That has got to be a wonderful experience.

    • elizajane202 lm profile image

      elizajane202 lm 7 years ago

      Gorgeous and I see why they get their name. That has got to be a wonderful experience.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      This is a magnificent lens! Love your photos. the owl butterfly is lovely.

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      Wonderful and beautiful butterflies. Thanks for the pictures.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      All of your butterfly photos are beautiful!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I don't think I've ever seen an owl butterfly, but I love your pictures!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Yes, I have see owl butterflies because I love to visit any butterfly house I can! Beautiful lens!

    • awakeningwellness profile image

      awakeningwellness 7 years ago

      I am not sure that I have ever seen a butterfly like that but I have been to the Festival of the Butterflies at Powell Gardens (also in MO) and they have so many types of butterflies that it is hard to remember them all. Beautiful lens!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      I have never seen this type of butterfly. Didn't even know that they existed. Great article and I liked your zazzle products.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      We seen many of these beautiful butterflies when camping. Love the photos.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 7 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      A very beautiful lens! Thumbs up!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      These photos are beautiful. And a place close enough that I can visit! I never knew about the Butterfly House in Chesterfield. I'll have to check it out.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 7 years ago

      I have not seen an owl butterfly. It is amazing how nature provides "cover" for its delicate creatures.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 7 years ago

      No, I am sure I would remember. They sure are beautiful; especially your pic with the orchids. Excellent work.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Your photography is just amazing and sure makes some gorgeous products. I enjoyed seeing the species of the Owl Butterfly and learning more about them. Thank you.

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 7 years ago

      No, but when I was a kid it was a lot of fun watching monarch caterpillars make a cacoon and change into butterflies.

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      I don't think I have ever seen an owl butterfly. They are beautiful and what a wonderful place to volunteer! Wow!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      No I haven't, and really don't know a lot about all the different species. What an absolutely gorgeous butterly! Thanks for the lesson Mary Beth and amazing pictures! - Kathy

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Gorgeous photography Mary Beth

    • profile image

      aishu19 7 years ago

      I don't think I have seen an owl butterfly before but it looks very beautiful. Your products are great too

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