Monday, December 12, 2011

Greta Oto - Glasswing Butterfly

This is not a Photoshop, or a 3D rendering. It's a photo of a Glasswinged butterly known as Greta Oto. It sounds like a fantastic beast, but it's real. See the other images.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Tribe: Ithomiini
Genus: Greta
Species: G. oto
Binomial name
Greta oto

The Glasswinged butterfly (Greta oto) is a brush-footed butterfly, and is a member of the subfamily Danainae, tribe Ithomiini, subtribe Godyridina.Greta oto adults also exhibit a number of interesting behaviors, such as long migrations and lekking among males.

The wings are translucent, with a wingspan of 5.6 to 6.1 cm (2.2 to 2.4 in). Its most common English name is glasswinged butterfly, 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 colored 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. The Greta oto may also be found in Venezuela, as there are photographs taken in the mountain area around Caracas.They live in Central America, where they are called "espejitos" (little mirrors) and they feed on nectar, love and good intentions

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.

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