Beautiful butterflies

ByElsa Sc S

Doing her graduation from LUMS & a keen researcher


August 29, 2022

Beautiful butterflies

Elsa Sc S describes some beautiful creatures

The beautiful butterflies come in their thousands and reportedly there are some 17,500 species of them. Some are as large as bats and others smaller than human fingernails. Some live longer than a year and others are extinguished in a few days. Some put on art shows with their iridescent colours while others blend into their backgrounds with camouflage colours or transparent wings. Butterflies are extremely endearing and occupy human imagination all the time. Butterflies are a unique feature in their existence and never fail to fascinate anyone looking at them. Their presence around the globe is certainly a good fortune for humans who add flavour to the existence on the Earth.

Giant Owl
This species has owl-like markings on its wings which help keep at bay predators, such as lizards and frogs, in its native Central and South America. Besides the dung of large mammals, Giant Owl butterflies like to eat fermenting fruit, especially bananas, mangoes and pineapple, which sometimes makes them a bit tipsy and belligerent. As evening looms it takes to the air to battle with the other males in hope of getting a date.

Emerald Swallowtail
Sometimes called a “Banded Peacock,” the Emerald Swallowtail has the chameleon-like ability to change colour. The colour shifts depend on the angle of light striking the wings; the usual green colour bands seem to turn to yellow or blue. The Southeast Asia butterfly species is found mostly in Myanmar, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Western Pygmy Blue
While there are lots of Western Pygmy Blue butterflies around, one may not have seen one because they are only the size of a pinky nail. They are the smallest butterfly in North America and one of the smallest ones in the world. While called “Blue,” this is not really their colour. “Blue” refers to a type of butterfly. Its copper wings are fringed grey and brown. The rear wings boast a row of metallic dots along the edge.

Blue Clipper
Also coming in green, brown and gold colours, the Blue Clipper is usually seen in forested areas of South and Southeast Asia. Experts believe that the different colours are subspecies and they were all once a single population, which was then separated as mountains and islands formed, enabling different colours to evolve in different areas.

Alcon Blue
The Alcon Blue has put into action a great babysitting strategy for its young. They have developed an outer coat that tricks ants into believing the young are its own. The duped ants carry the butterfly caterpillars back to their colonies to care for as their own larvae. Some scientists suggest that the waxy coating on the butterflies mimics the ants’ smell or taste, so free childcare is put into place.

Among short-lived butterflies, the Brimstone is practically immortal, often living 10 to 13 months. Found across Europe, Asia, and northern parts of Africa, this butterfly has evolved to look like a curled leaf as a form of camouflage protection. Their wings have tiny orange blotches that imitate the fungal spots in real leaves. The iridescent dorsal wings of the male Brimstone change colour under ultraviolet light, while the females’ wings don’t.TW


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