Monday, January 31, 2011

Beautiful Butterflies

My mom visited us last week, and we visited 2 butterfly gardens while she was here. Here's a few of the magnificent creatures we saw.

Costa Rica's most famous butterfly is the Blue Morpho, and there are actually several different species of them here, but they all have the distinctive electric blue color on the upper sides of their wings. We've seen several flying around since we've been in Costa Rica, but I've found it impossible to get a good photo of their blue flashes, and when they land they hide their blue and show their camouflage and "owl eyes". Here are mating morphos.

And the owner of the first butterfly garden showed us the blue on the upper side of this morpho.
Some species are almost entirely blue on the tops of their wings, and it is a breathtaking sight to see them fly around you in the forest.

This beautiful butterfly looks just like a dried-up leaf when closed . . .

but opens up to this beautiful spectacle of color!

These Postman Butterflies had just hatched and were drying and pumping their wings before their first flight.

Another favorite of mine is this large Banded Owl Butterfly. It measured about 6 inches in length, and when it flew, you could see patches of yellow and purple on the upper sides of it's wings. We even spotted one of these flying in the wild!

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