The Glasswing butterfly, also known as the Greta oto, is a miracle of nature. It is known as Espejitos in Spanish.
This species of migratory butterflies usually found in Central America. Their habitat also ranges from Panama to Mexico. They belong to the Lepidoptera order and the Nymphalidae family.
The name Glasswing is derived from their extraordinarily transparent wings. The Butterfly’s wings are made visible because of the reddish-brown border. The top part of the forewing has a white stripe that goes through the brown region.
Since Glasswing butterflies lack tiny scales on their wings, this makes their wings transparent, giving them a see-through look. This characteristic separates them from other butterflies and moths. Therefore, making it hard for us to spot these beautiful creatures.
The eye can’t follow the Butterfly because it dodges between understory plants among patches of light and shadow. Even the caterpillars are hard to spot during metamorphosis. The small pupae are chrome-silver in color and look like small mirrors.
The adult Glasswing butterflies have scaly antennae, transparent wings, and a thin brown body. Males consist of a small plume of fine hairs under the overlap of the forewing. An interesting fact is that this helps them during courtship.
The Greta oto population is relatively high. They are found all year long. While migrating, it travels an average of 12km on a single day.
Would you believe that they feed on droppings of birds that eat insects? Well, they actually do. It is the only way to add amino acids to their diet. These butterflies also live on nectar from certain flowers and Cestrum.
The chemicals absorbed from the nectar ensure that the Great oto tastes unpleasant; hence it discourages predators. The length of a Glasswing varies from 28-30mm. Male butterflies give away pheromones as a mating call. Females smell the males’ stink and join the flock to find a mate.
Butterflies are powerful symbols of life.
Some cultures associate the butterfly with souls. Christians see butterflies as a symbol of rebirth. Globally, people view the butterfly as representing change, endurance, hope, and life.
Isn’t the Glasswing just too beautiful!?
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