For Mother’s Day we have a bouquet of butterflies, all from reader Robert Lang, and all taken in Costa Rica:
We saw gorgeous butterflies everywhere, but the majority of these photos were shot at the butterfly conservatory in the town of Monteverde, such as this Banded Orange Longwing (Dryadula phaetusa).
Another brilliant bit of orange is sported by this Tiger Longwing (Heliconius hecale):
But the prize for orangeness goes to the Julia, (Dryas Iulia). (This one was probably near the end of its life, as it had started to lose some bits of wing.)
The Menelaus Blue Morphos (Morpho menelaus) are the iconic tropical butterfly, but are frustrating to photograph. When flying, their stunning blue wings flash as they dart and weave, but the instant they land, they fold their wings, displaying a brown pattern with spots completely unlike the iridescent blue tops.
I finally found one that had landed on the mesh netting walls of the conservatory enclosure with its wings out, and got off a shot before it returned to erratic flight.
Here is the Small Postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene rosina), so named because it follows the same route from flower to flower every day.
There’s also the False Postman (Heliconius clysonymus), which looks like a Small Postman, but has the colors reversed.
There were two glasswing butterflies, so named because their wings are clear, or nearly so. First, an ordinary glasswing (sorry, unidentified species).
And then the Stained Glasswing (sorry, couldn’t identify the species), whose wings are translucent. [JAC: Is this right? I see no translucence.]
The Owl Butterfly (Caligo sp.) is named for its wingspots that cause it to resemble an owl and, perhaps, thereby ward off predators.
A Sulphur (Colias sp.) gives us a bit of yellow.
And then two rather impressively striped ones: the Thoas Swallowtail (Papilio thoas):
And the Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charithonia):
And perhaps my favorite striking pattern, the Mexican Silverspot (Dione moneta).