Tag Archive: Brush-footed Butterflies

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

Genus/species: Caligo atreus 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Caligo atreus is much more colorful than its peers—its dorsal side has deep blue striping on the top part of the wing and bright yellow on the bottom half of the wing. (see Chicago Botanical garden in references)
The underside is a rich chocolate color with eye spots and a prominent grey-yellow vertical stripe on the ventral surface.

Wing top, (dorsal side below)

C atreus20026840583_be349c9b4f_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are found in Mexico south to Northern South America, Found in dense rainforest but occasionally they visit banana plantations to lay their eggs on leaves.

DIET IN THE WILD: The larvae feed on Musa and Heliconia species and can be a pest for banana cultivation. Adults feed on juices of rotting fruit.

Wing bottomside (ventral side below)Owl Butterfliy4185273802_a8ebe26468_b

Remarks: Color communicates; deimatic behavior describes actions by an organism to startle a potential predator, thereby allowing the would-be prey to escape. An organism may display “eye spots”, which are often found on non-vital body parts like wings, flash bright colors, or arrange their body in an aggressive manner. Ref. California Academy of Sciences Docent training for Color of Life Exhibit May 2015


California Academy of Sciences  Rainforest 2017

Chicago Botanical Garden my.chicagobotanic.org/tag/caligo-atreus/

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/149494/overview

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4185273802/in/album-72157608449327886/

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




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

Genus/species: Heliconius hewitsoni

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: A distinctive black butterfly with yellow transverse bands on fore- and hindwings. H. hewitsoni is very similar in general appearance to its Müllerian mimic H.pachinus. (Species with strong defences evolve to resemble one another and deter predation).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the province of Chiriqui (Panama) and the Pacific slopes of Costa Rica. Usually individuals fly rapidly and in the canopy.

REMARKS: Heliconius are recognized by their large eyes, long antennae, characteristic elongate wing-shape, teardrop-shaped hindwing discal (disc-like) cell, and distinctive color patterns.

Adult butterflies systematically collect pollen from flowers, which they masticate on the proboscis to dissolve out amino acids. This allows caterpillars to develop relatively rapidly (since they do not need to store nutrients for egg and sperm production), and allows adults to have a greatly extended lifespan – up to 8 months – in the wild.

A second unusual trait found in some Heliconius species is a unique mating behaviour known as pupal-mating. Males of certain species search larval food plants for female pupae. The males then sit on the pupae a day before emergence, and mating occurs the next morning, before the female has completely closed (insect emerging from the pupa stage.)


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017 Photo vetted Tim Wong

EOL eol.org/pages/18499/details



Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32471538194/in/album-72157608449327886/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1N3

%d bloggers like this: