More Butterflies Up Close & Beautiful - Part 2
Macro Photos of Butterflies
Heliconius hecale - Tiger Longwing
Habitat - Central to South America
All heliconlid species can digest pollen, because pollen protein can repair muscles, they can live up to 10 times longer than most butterflies.
Danaus plexippus - The Monarch
Habitat - Worldwide
Monarchs will only lay their eggs on mildweed which contains a poison that will act to protect them. They can actually store this poison in their bodies making them poisonous to eat.
Their amazing migration to warmer climates such as Mexico and California can be a staggering 3,000 miles from start to end, flying an average of 50 miles a day.
Papilio nireus - African Green-banded Swallowtail
Habitat - Southern Africa
The wingspan is 10-12 cms
The males are attracted to the female's iridescent green band that flashes when the light hits it correctly, the colour can become 6 times brighter than usual.
Like all other swallowtails the females lay eggs on plants belonging to the citrus family.
Their caterpillars resemble bird droppings, this camouflage protects them against predators.
Papilio polytes - Common Mormon
Habitat - India and South East Asia
A common species of the swallowtail butterfly.
The caterpillar initially mimics bird droppings then it can imitate a snake. A foul smelling organ called the osmaterium looks like a snake’s tongue when inflated, and incredibly the larva adopts a snakes threat posture!
It can also adopt the colour of the place where it pupated.
Cethosia Biblis - Leopard Lacewing
Habitat - India, Southeast Asia
The caterpillars of the Lacewing feed on the Passionflower (pass flora) the chemicals of this plant when digested becomes poison to potential predators
Spikes on the caterpillar and the exquisite colouring of the adult are warnings to predators.
Morpho peleides - Blue Morpho
Habitat - Central and South America
The Photo above is showing the underside of the Blue Morpho’s wings, they are a dull brown with different sized ‘eyespots’
If you are fortunate enough to see them fly, which I was - but unfortunately they were moving too fast to photograph, you will see a brilliant blue in their top wings.
When this butterfly rests, their wings are folded upward so their brilliant blue is hidden, and they become camouflaged from their predators.
Papilio Rumanzovia - Scarlet Swallowtail
Habitat - The Phillippines
The photo is a male, the female is far more colourful and has more red and white colouring on it’s wings that represents a warning to predators.
The Scarlet Swallowtail has a wingspan of 11 cms.
The caterpillar host plant is the citrus.
Identifying The Butterflies
Identifying all the butterflies seen at the butterfly zoo has been quite a challenge!
Although I have spent many happy hours researching them, I unfortunately wasn't 100% successful and wasn't able to identify these last two photos.
Many butterfly's wings look completely different on the underside, which makes it even harder to recognise them.
As these two butterflies are my favourites, I have decided to still include them.
Perhaps you know their identities? if you do I would love to hear from you.