Butterflies are perhaps the most delightful sights in the rainforest
- even in the dark understory, they can brighten things up!
They come in all colors, and often use their colors to
Although some do not seem to try to hide...
The heliconia butterflies become poisonous to birds because of the
leaves that they eat as caterpillars.
The clearwing or glasswing butterfly above hides by being
transparent! While walking through a particularly dark stretch of rainforest in
Monteverde, Costa Rica, I looked towards the one patch of sunlight - and saw
this butterfly sitting there! The one below was seen on a different
There are also many species of moths in the rainforest! Although not
always as bright, they are also interesting. Moth can be distinguished from
butterflies because of their feathery antennae. Another characteristic of moths
is that for the most part, when they land, they rest with their wings open,
where most butterflies rest with their wings closed. (Most pictures you see of
the amazing blue morpho butterfly are taken of dead butterflies, because it is
very hard to catch one sitting still with its' wings open!)
© 2001 Stephen Blythe