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Butterfly (S. America, Costa Rica) ~ Glasswing

Kimberly Chadwick

Marana, United States

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Tucson Botanical Gardens (Butterfly Magic at the Gardens)
Tucson, Arizona
Canon Powershot sx100is

Resource~ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Glasswing (Greta oto)

The Glasswing (Greta oto) is a brush-footed butterfly, and is a member of the subfamily Danainae, tribe Ithomiini, subtribe Godyridina. Its wings are translucent, with a wingspan of 2.2 to 2.4 in (5.6 to 6.1 cm). Its most common English name is glasswing, and its Spanish name is “espejitos”, which means “little mirrors.” Indeed, the tissue between the veins of its wings looks like glass, as it lacks the coloured scales found in other butterflies. The opaque borders of its wings are dark brown sometimes tinted with red or orange, and its body is dark in color.

Adults range from Mexico through Panama. G. morgane oto visits common flowers like lantana, but prefers to lay its eggs on plants of the tropical Solanaceae genus Cestrum.The green caterpillars feed on these toxic plants and are perhaps toxic to predators through secondary chemicals stored in their tissues; caterpillar chemical extracts are unpalatable to Paraponera clavata ants. Adults are also assumed to be toxic, but their toxicity mainly results from males feeding on flowers (e.g., Asteraceae) whose nectar contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These same alkaloids also are converted into pheromones by the males and used to attract females.

The Greta oto may also be found in Venezuela, as there are photographs taken in the mountain area around the City of Caracas.

G. oto adults also exhibit a number of interesting behaviors, such as long migrations and lekking among males.

Artwork Comments

  • Gabrielle  Lees
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • AnnDixon
  • Kimberly Chadwick
  • Marvin Collins
  • Kimberly Chadwick
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