Tucson Botanical Gardens (Butterfly Magic at the Gardens)
Canon Powershot sx100is
Resource~ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Butterflies in the genus Caligo are commonly called Owl butterflies, after their huge eyespots, which resemble owls’ eyes. They are found in the rainforests and secondary forests of Mexico, Central and South America.
Owl butterflies are very large, 65–200 mm, and fly only a few metres at a time, so avian predators have little difficulty in following them to their settling place. However, the butterflies preferentially fly in dusk, when few avian predators are around. The Latin name may possibly refer to their active periods. Caligo means darkness.
Some owl butterflies form leks in mating behavior
A fake eye. The Owl butterfly is one of the best examples of mimicry in the butterfly world. The fake ‘eye’ is used to startle would-be predators that happen upon the butterfly when it is resting in the day. The ‘eye’ even has a white crescent that mimics the moist eye of an owl. The rest of the wings complete the picture with white, wavy lines that mimic feathers.