LAUREN'S BUTTERFLIES OF BELIZE (Part Two)Is brought to you by ReMax Isla Bonita - everything we touch, turns to sold! Butterflies from Around the World: http://www.pbase.com/lejun/butterflies_from_around_the_world
Owl Butterflies are large, tropical butterflies found in secondary forests and rainforests from Mexico down to the Amazon in South America. Owl butterflies are typically active during the daytime, but these specific butterflies are most active around twilight hours each morning. So during the day, you are most likely to see them resting.
It is easy to see why they are called Owl Butterflies. Their wings look like the face of an owl, and if you spread the wings out, you can actually see a pair of eyes looking straight at you.
Owl Butterflies have a wingspan up to 6 inches. Their dorsal wing surfaces are broadly edged with dark brown, tan to gray on the hind wings. Their ventral wing surfaces (seen when they are resting) are a molting looking brown, with cream at the base of the fore wing. There is one large eye spot on each hind wing.
These butterflies like to land on tree trunks, because they blend in and are not very easily seen. Plus, if they hold still, then you actually think they are starring at you, when they really aren't. This is why predators will leave them alone.
Like most tropical butterflies, Owl Butterflies feed on the oozing juice from rotting fruit. So if you want to attract butterflies on your porch or in your garden. Leave out pieces of rotten fruit. They love it!
LAUREN'S BUTTERFLIES OF BELIZE (Part One)
Is brought to you by ReMax Isla Bonita - everything we touch, turns to sold!
Mom is helping me with this series. I'm picking the butterflies, I want mom to write about. The Blue Morpho is my first choice. I think the Blue Morpho Butterfly is the prettiest butterfly I have ever seen.
It has bright blue wings, with black edges and white poka-dots. It is among the largest butterfly family in all the world. It's wings span is between five to eight inches. The underside of the Morpho’s wings, are a dull brown color with many eyespots, which help to camouflage it against predators such as birds and insects when its wings are closed.
When the Blue Morpho flies, the contrasting bright blue and dull brown colors flash, making it look like the Morpho is appearing and disappearing. The Blue Morpho Butterfly has two clubbed antennas, two fore wings and two hind wings, six legs and three body segments -- the head, thorax and abdomen. We learned about this in school.
Blue Morphos live in the tropical forests of Belize. Adult butterflies spend most of their time on the forest floor and in the lower shrubs and trees of the understory with their wings folded. If you are walking through the rainforest, you will mostly see these butterflies in in clearings, and along streams where their bright blue wings are most visible. The blue Morpho’s entire lifespan lasts only 115 days, which means most of their time is spent eating and making babies.
A Blue Morphos diet changes throughout each stage of their life. As a caterpillar it likes to chew leaves, then as it becomes older it no longer chews its food, but drinks it instead. An adult Blue Morphos develops a mouth that looks like a straw and it sucks in fluids, the juice of rotting fruit, fluids of decomposing animals, tree sap, fungi and even wet mud. Blue Morphos has taste sensors (much like taste buds on our tongues) on their legs, and they "taste & smell" the air with their antennae, which serve as a combined tongue and nose.
Blue Morphos are severely threatened by deforestation (so don't cut down our trees) in the tropical rain forests. This is one of the reasons why the Belize Government took over 40% of our land and turned it into National Parks and habitats for animals and insects like the Blue Morphos. Always remember when you go into a Belize National Park - look but don't touch!