Trivia question for Jul-10-2011

Posted on Jul 10, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia loves the way these guys look which is why she picked them for her trivia so lets see how she does.  These are among the worlds largest butterflies; in flight, they’re mistaken for birds or bats.

The underwing pattern of these invertebrates is highly cryptic. It is conceivable that the eye pattern is a generalized form of mimicry. It is known that many small animals hesitate to go near patterns resembling eyes with a light-colored iris and a large pupil, which matches the appearance of the eyes of many predators that hunt by sight. The main predators of these guys are apparently small lizards and birds.

So here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us what kind of Butterfly this is and what is so different about their behavior that is unnatural from most butterflies?  Also, as many as 82% of the eggs from these butterflies never hatch, can you tell us why?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Dr. Stevens from Tempe AZ for being the first to send us the correct answer and thank you also for sending us the other cool facts about these butterflies.  The big-eyed butterfly we featured is the Owl Butterfly.

These 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, 2.6–7.9 in, 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.

As for their low birth rate, that is mainly caused by tiny wasps that develop inside them and eat them before they can mature.  Here is more on these flying beauties: Owl Butterflies

Thanks for playing along 😉