Tag Archive: arthropods


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae

Genus/species: Catonephele numilia

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:The males are dark brown on the upperside with dazzling reflective orange patches which vary in size and shape from species to species. Females are entirely different in appearance. In most species they have dark brown wings marked with linear rows of cream spots.
Both sexes of all species have cryptic undersides in shades of brown.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: C. numilia breeds in wet rainforest and cloudforest at elevations up to about 1800m (5900 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Adults feed on rotten fruits, while caterpillars feed on Alchornea species.

References

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/35513496662/in/album-72157608449327886/

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

EOL eol.org/pages/164956/details

Learn About butterflies  http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Amazon%20-%20Catonephele%20numilia.htm

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1QS

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed or four-footed butterflies) The first pair of legs are small or reduced, giving the family the other names of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies.
Subfamily: Heliconiinae (passion-vine butterflies)

Genus/species: Heliconius melpomene

3116912525_7c6d9815d6_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Postman has large long wings with an orange stripe down each forewing and is famous for the geographic diversity of its color pattern, having around 30 named subspecies. These factors, in combination with its co-mimicry with Heliconius erato, make an individual sometimes difficult to identify.

Postman (wing bottom)Heliconius melpomene

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: H. melpomene is widespread in the Neotropics of Central and South America to southern Brazil. They are found in open areas, also locally common along river edges and streams.

DIET IN THE WILD: A plant specialist on passion vine flowers (Passiflora spp.). In Central America, focuses on only two species; in other areas, is more of a generalist, feeding on several Passiflora species.

Postman butterfly 3128914991_1200b58be7_o

LONGEVITY: Heliconius spp. are among the Methuselahs of the butterfly world. Most butterflies live only days; some Heliconians in the adult (butterfly) stage, including the Postman, live for as long as 8 months.

IMG_0766

REMARKS: The Postman is reportedly named after its habit of flying a route that allows visitation of all the nectar plants in a given area like a postman delivering the mail.
In Greek mythology, Mt. Helicon was sacred home to the Muses; Melpomene is the Muse of Tragedy.

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-12R

Tree of Life web project tolweb.org/Heliconia

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/154557/details

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda (Jointed Legged Animals)
Class: Insecta (head, usually with two antennae. The thorax, has six legs and usually four wings. The abdomen, is used for breathing and reproduction.)
Order: Lepidoptera (most butterflies and moths)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily: Brassolidae (owl butterflies and relatives)

Genus/species: Eryphanis automedon

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: In males the dorsal sides of the wings show night blue iridescent patches, with well-defined borders separating the non-iridescent sections. (see eol.org/pages/149554/details) The bottom side or Ventral sides vary from faded brown to caramel color, with eyespots.

wing underside

4184513701_c7f7b4e5df_b 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: E. automedon is present from Venezuela to the Guiana’s and Brazil and from Colombia to Paraguay, Found in rainforest and humid deciduous forest,

emerging from the chrysalis

 

References 

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4184513701/in/album-72157608449327886/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1vw

EOL eol.org/pages/149554/details

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Eryphanis_automedon/classifi…

breedingbutterflies.com  breedingbutterflies.com/eryphanis-sp-purple-mort-blue/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed or four-footed butterflies) The first pair of legs are small or reduced, giving the family the other names of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies.
Subfamily: Heliconiinae (passion-vine butterflies)

Genus/species: Dryadula phaetusa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Males are bright orange with heavy black stripes dorsally (above); striking and quite different brown, orange, and white pattern below. Females somewhat duller with blurred black stripes.

Dryadula phaetusa 3129818320_9e962aa397_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The Banded Orange Heliconian is native throughout the continental Neotropics, from central Mexico to Brazil; summer migrant in U.S. north to Kansas. It is usually found in disturbed lowland areas. Adults roost in small groups on grass.

DIET IN THE WILD: Caterpillars feed on various host passion-flower vine species; adults feed primarily on nectar and bird droppings.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are laid singly on stems and leaves of host plants. Larvae of all heliconiines are spiny, have two spines on the head capsule. The inactive pupae are suspended with the body held either horizontal or vertical to the substrate and metamorphose into adults.

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: They are long lived for butterflies. Heliconius spp. are among the Methuselahs of the butterfly world. Most butterflies live only days; some Heliconians in the adult (butterfly) stage, including the Heliconius melpomene, live for as long as 8 months. 

Banded Orange Heliconian aka Orange Tiger (wing bottom)Dryadula phaetusa Dryadula phaetusa

REMARKS: The Banded Orange is the sole member of its genus. The genus is distinguished by having shorter, broader wings and shorter antennae than others in the heliconiine subfamily.

References

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/3129818320/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-12q

Butterflies and Moths of North America www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Dryadula-phaetusa

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bocas_database/search/species/1110

Tree of Life tolweb.org/Heliconiini/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda (Jointed Legged Animals)
Class: Insecta  (head, usually with two antennae. The thorax, has six legs and usually four wings. The abdomen, is used for breathing and reproduction.)
Order: Lepidoptera (most butterflies and moths)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)

Genus/species: Caligo eurilochus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The color of the top (dorsal) wings is blue-gray.   Its ventral (bottom) wing surface is brown and tan with many lines and two large eye spots.

Wingspan up to 12.5 cm (5 inches). 

Wing bottom

Giant Owl Butterfly Caligo sp.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Mexico south to Amazonia in rainforests and secondary forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: Adults feed on rotting fruit, sipping liquids through their proboscis.

Wing Top

Giant Owl Butterfly IMG_0008

REPRODUCTION: The five larval instars each take a week to moult from one form to the other and the process therefore lasts about five weeks. The last instar moults to the chrysalis form which can be found hanging before the butterfly emerges at the end of five weeks

LIFESPAN: Up to seven weeks

PREDATORS: Fly at dusk to avoid avian predators.

Parasitized by tiny wasps known as Trichogrammatid which are parasitoids meaning that they kill their host

Giant Owl Butterfly 3175391673_2e6880dc85_b

REMARKS: Giant owls larvae are large and voracious, and one individual can consume an entire banana leaf more than 3 feet long!

The common name is derived from the large “eyespots” on the underside of wings, thought to be deterrents to bird predators.

Rainforest butterflies

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bocas_database/search/quick/open/?se…

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/137994/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-12x

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Tribe: Heliconiini

Genus/species: Dryas julia

Female below

Julia Longwingbutterfly female 3779880432_9f39949f0e_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Elongate forewings, thus the common name Males bright orange above and below; upper side of hindwing has narrow black border on outer margin. Female duller, with more pronounced black markings above.

Wing Span: 3 1/4 – 3 5/8 inches.

Male below

Julia Longwingbutterfly Male 3506886372_2a38133601_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Brazil north through Central America, Mexico, West Indies, peninsular Florida, and South Texas. Strays as far north as eastern Nebraska. Found in subtropical forest openings and edges, and nearby fields.

DIET IN THE WILD: Caterpillars feed on passion vines; adults on nectar from flowers.

DIET IN CAPTIVITY: Butterflies in the Academy Rainforest thrive on nectar provided by biologists and by the many flowers in the exhibit. The also take up juices and pulp from soft fruits at feeding stations.

Male below

Julia Longwingbutterfly Male IMG_0422

REPRODUCTION: Like all species in the subfamily Heliconiinae, also known as heliconians or longwings, adults lay eggs only on select host plants of the genus Passiflora, commonly called passion vines or passion flowers. D. julia eggs are laid singly on new growth; caterpillars feed on leaves.

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/3506886372/

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden www.lewisginter.org/sexually-dimorphic-butterflies/

Butterflies and Moths  www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Dryas-iulia

Tree of Life  tolweb.org/Dryas_iulia/70435

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/158533/details

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-133

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)

Genus/species: Morpho peleides

Top-side (dorsal)

Blue Morpho 3175390675_70bdc9fe60_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Among the largest butterflies in the world, wing span from five to eight inches.

Color of Life notation: Color Sources, structural color, iridescence.
Wing tops are an iridescent blue, edged with black, caused not by a true color, such as the pigment dye of blue jeans, but by structural coloration resulting from tiny, overlapping scales that cover their wings. Because of the precise angle of the ridges they form, the scales which reflect blue light back to our eyes. The contrasting underside of the wing is brown with a confusion of eyespots that can startle a potential predator, thereby allowing the butterfly to escape predators. This is called deistic behavior.
Females less brilliantly colored.

Ref. California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit, May 2015

underside and topside

Blue Morpho Butterfly 4330619902_ec31e9c058_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropics of Latin America from Mexico to Colombia. Feeds and sleeps on or near the forest floor, but when mating, they fly throughout forest layers.

DIET IN THE WILD: Caterpillar, it chews leaves but adults can’t chew so they drinks juices of rotting plants and animals, tree sap, and wet mud, sipping all with its straw-like proboscis.

Underside (ventral)

REPRODUCTION: Like most butterflies, males release pheromones to attract females. Fertilized eggs hatch in about 9 days. The caterpillar of  M. peleides is red-brown with patches of bright green.

Blue Morpho Butterfly 8677456846_7df05acbb0_oLONGEVITY: Total lifespan: egg to adult, about 4.5 months; adults (butterflies): about 1 month.

PREDATORS: Birds (jacamar and flycatcher) and large insects.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated, but under some pressure as trophies for collectors and deforestation of tropical forests..

REMARKS:  M. peleides brilliant reflection is so intense that pilots report seeing their flash of color as the butterflies warm themselves above the treetops. Different angles of view (and so different angles of reflecting ridges) produce variations in the shades of blue perceived.

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/3175390675/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-12J

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/139904/details

WAZA  www.waza.org/en/zoo/choose-a-species/invertebrates/insect…

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)
Family: Papilionidae (Swallowtail butterflies)

Genus/ species: Ornithoptera priamus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Variable between numerous subspecies.
The top of the forewing is velvety black with a green subcostal and marginal stripe. The bottom of the forewing is black with a chain of bluish or green postdiscal spots.
The hindwings are green. At the wing’s leading edge there are yellow-gold spots with a postdiscal chain of black spots. The edge of the hindwing is black. The underside is dark green or bluish. The yellow-golden spots are transparent. The veins are partly black and the marginal edge of the wing is black. At the outer edge there is a postdiscal chain of black spots.

The body (abdomen) is yellow. Head and thorax are black. The underside of thorax has a red hair coat.
Wingspan: 5 in. (12.7 cm.)  Male below Topwing (dorsal)

Male bottom side (ventral)

 O. priamus is sexually dimorphic. The basic color of the female is dark-brown with a chain of white postdiscal spots on the forewings and a chain of larger white postdiscal spots with dark centres on the hindwing. The underside is very similar to the upper.

The female is larger than the male and in the upper range of the wing-span.

Female below top wing (dorsal)

Female bottom wing (ventral)

 

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Australasia / Indomalaya (Australia) ecozone.

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017 Vetting Tim Wong

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Mz

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/33116609042/in/album-72157608449327886/

EOL eol.org/pages/130749/overview

www.nagypal.net/images/zzpriamu.htm

 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden www.lewisginter.org/sexually-dimorphic-butterflies/

butterflycorner.net en.butterflycorner.net/Ornithoptera-priamus.952.0.html

insecta.pro  insecta.pro/taxonomy/15076

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera (Beetles)
Family: Scarabaeidae  (Scarab Beetles)
Subfamily: Dynastinae (Rhinocerous Beetles)

Genus/species: Chalosoma caucasus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Males have large curved horns which are used when fighting other males for a female. The smaller females do not have horns but are covered with fine tiny hairs called setae. The male female differences are an example of sexual dimorphism.

It is the largest of the genus Chalcosoma and one of Asia’s largest beetles. Length up to 90–120 millimetres (3.5–4.7 in)

DISTRIBUTION: Found from Malaysia south into Indonesia

DIET IN THE WILD: Feed on compost from decaying logs and wood.

REPRODUCTION: Larvae emerge from eggs and grow through 3 instar stages, then a pupal stage in a papery covering (7.5 inches in length) followed by emergence of the beetle after several months

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017 Vetting Tim Wong

EOL eol.org/pages/10753705/overview

Natural Worlds.org www.naturalworlds.org/scarabaeidae/species/Chalcosoma_cau…

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32488979164/in/album-72157620708938680/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1MX

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Hymenoceridae

Genus/species: Hymenocera picta

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Pinkish white body color with splashes of purple-edged pink spots. Stalked eyes and antennae flattened and leaf-shaped.

Length up to 5 cm (2 inches)

3270612381_97f047b272_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Along the shores of East Africa, the Red Sea, to Indonesia, south to northern Australia and as far east as the Galapagos. Found on hard rocky or coral substrates, with lots of hiding places.

4405902944_fe87f480fe_o

DIET IN THE WILD: It is a nocturnal feeder hunting in pairs for sea stars, using its claws to pry sea stars off coral reefs flipping them on their back. They then take them to their dwelling-place on the reef, where they consume their the tube feet of sea stars.

3048541059_e060aaa3b3_o

REMARKS: H. picta is known to feed on crown-of-thorns sea stars, so perhaps it should be considered a reef preservationists.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA15

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3270612381/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1K1

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hymenocera_picta/classificat…

EOL eol.org/pages/126747/details

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