Common Name: Butterfly
Family: Papilionidae, Nymphalidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae
Range: Butterflies are available throughout the world except on the cold continent of Antarctica. Several species normally migrate to avoid unpleasant conditions. They migrate relatively short distances, but the monarchs and quite a few other species travel thousands of miles. Of all the butterfly species in the world, 18% are available in Costa Rica, as are 90% of Central American butterflies and 66% of neo-tropical butterflies. All are found in a Costa Rica.
Size: Butterflies have six legs with large wing ans antenna. They are available in size from a minute 2 cm (1/8 inch) to a huge almost 30 cm (12 inches).
Weight: Some information about butterfly weights, it is ranging from 0.3 grams for a large swallowtail to 0.04 gram for a small butterfly. The world’s largest butterfly, could weigh 2 or 3 grams and one of the World’s smallest butterflies, the Pygmy Blue, would weigh only a few thousandths of a gram.
Diet: Butterfly’s main feed is flower nectar, juice from decomposing fruit and the water from puddles. The first meal as caterpillar, their first meal is its own eggshell. And then most of its time consuming the leaves of the plant on which they hatched.
Average life span: The life span of a butterfly is dependent on the type of breed. They can live on an average 3 weeks. However, many species can live up to a year. The small blue butterfly and copper butterfly are usually have the shortest life span. The migrating monarch butterfly has the longest lifespan and can have life up to twelve months. The average life span of a butterfly (not caterpillar or pupa) is 3-6 weeks.
Habitat: The Natural habitat of the butterflies is relatively sunny, Five to six hours in a day and with less wind. It must contain the plants that are suitable for caterpillars and Butterflies both. Plants like Queen Anne’s Lace, marigolds, violets, and sometime milkweed for caterpillars to eat. You can make your backyard for the Butterflies the habitat by creating an atmosphere. It will bring you an enjoyment in watching beautiful butterflies in your yard.
There is also a big collection of (dead) butterflies at the University of Costa Rica. You may even see one on the sidewalks of San Jose. I have.
Breeding/Reproduction: After mating, the butterfly lay around 100 eggs, from egg to adult, butterflies go through a series of physical transformations.
After hatching, the caterpillar starts to eat host plant. All caterpillar sheds their skin many times. And then try to find a sheltered spot, removed itself from the silken threads and take sheds to reveal skin that will harden to form the pupa. After some days or months depending on the species, a winged adult butterfly emerges from the pupa.
Costa Rica is internationally known for its touristic potential. It is a country that combines spectacular volcanic landscapes with coastline, jungles and amazing national parks. But Costa Rica has also an amazing biodiversity and the most impressive butterfly diversity in the world.
You can find in Costa Rica 90 % of the Central American butterfly species and 66 % of the neo-tropical. This relatively small country is home to more than 1200 butterflies and at least 8000 moth species. These insects have gone through an amazing adaptation process that has allowed them to flourish and avoid predators. Some of the most interesting adaptations you can find in Swallowtail butterflies that can imitate bird droppings or a moth imitating a wasp.
Butterflies are insects with a three segmented body, long antennae and large wings. A butterfly’s porpoise is to reproduce. After the mating is over, the female butterfly lays around 100 eggs, which is the total for a life time. Only 5 % of the eggs will develop into healthy adults after experiencing the caterpillar stage. A butterfly’s life span is short but plays a key role for their environment, contributing to cross-pollinate flowers.
The most common butterflies in Costa Rica are:
1. The Morpho, with over 80 species. This is a Neotropical butterfly with a wingspan ranging from 7.5 cm to 20 cm. They have a blue and green metallic coloration achieved through structural iridescence
2. Zebra Longwing also declared the official butterfly of Florida U.S.A. The butterfly got his name from the stripes present on his wings. They are somewhat unusual butterflies due to the fact that adults eat the pollen
3. The Silver Emperor is a special butterfly that has a dark brown color with iridescence blue and a central white band from the upper side of its wings and a gray with silver iridescence underside
Costa Rica is a butterflies’ heaven. The locals take great pride in their biodiversity and have contributed to insuring its long life every way they can. They even established butterfly farms; the most famous is located in La Guacima de Alajuela.
The farm has a unique collection of exotic species of the butterflies from all over the Costa Rica as well as The tropical regions of South America. The botanists and zoologists are in deep study of the varied species over the last two decades as there is a vast possibility that these species may unveil the new mysteries about evolution.
There are many tourist camps in Costa Rica, where special tours to the butterfly habitats are organized to let the people from all over the world know about the rich treasure that Costa Rica holds in terms of its beautiful butterflies. Apart from the butterflies, there many other rare insect species in Costa Rica and the whole of south America which are the center of study for many scientists around the world.
Butterflies of Costa Rica are among most beautiful butterflies. These butterflies constantly remind visitors that they are in tropical region. Costa Rica does have butterfly farm as well. So, if you are planned to visit Costa Rica don’t forget to visit this butterfly farm. This farm is located near Juan Santamaria International Airport and San Jose.
Where to see Butterflies
You can see several species of butterflies and insects at Butterfly Conservatory.
Thus Costa Rica is truly a great habitat for the beautiful butterflies from the whole world.