Butterflies in Costa Rica

We recently enjoyed a trip to a Butterfly Garden near Jaco Beach. It was a real hole-in-the-wall place, but I learned that the difference is really made by your tour guide. Ours was very friendly and informative.

This big, homely guy is the caterpillar for the Owl butterfly.

Our tour guide showed us the neatest phenomenon. He tickled the chrysalis and it wiggled! He told us that at this stage of development there is only a liquid inside the chrysalis and scientists cannot figure out why they react like that.

The greatest defense this butterfly has against predators is it's camoflauge. These two eye spots are what earn the name 'Owl'.

Turned this way, you can see a snake face, another defense against predators.

A small glimpse of the inside of the wings. This was hard to get as they mostly rest with their wings closed.

Costa Rica's most famous butterfly is the Blue Morpho. The blue on the inside is much more brilliant than that of the Owl.

The caterpillar.

Sometimes the Morpho and Owl are confused with each other. The Morpho has seven spots, with the largest being in the center.

And my favorite butterfly picture of the day.

Still trying to figure out what kind he is. Should have asked the guide.


Alana - The Mommy said...

Love the beautiful pics Molly. Thanks for the lesson on butterflies too. I will show this to my Molly in the morning!

EvaB said...

Wow! When we visited the butterfly garden in Gainesville, our favorite was the Blue Morpho. We were blessed with a great tour guide too. I can't wait to tell the kids about the Blue Morpho. It's a small world afterall . . .

Elinette said...

Wow! Beatiful pictures. Here in Chicago we have a museum with a great butterfly haven but without good guides. :-(

Elizabeth said...

seriously Molly - have you thought of trying to sell your photos - I can't imagine better ones in a Costa Rican photography book....

Molly said...

Beth, you're sweet. I am working on getting better...slowly...but they're really not THAT good. :o)