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 hide.


Although some do not seem to try to hide...


All colors...


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 trip:

Glasswing butterfly


Another beauty!


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