Thursday, August 23, 2007

Glasswing Butterfly

The following information on this butterfly is finally here after what seemed like hours of searching for it:
Oleria paula is commonly known as the Thick-rimmed Clearwing Butterfly or the Glasswing Butterfly. It is in the order Lepidoptera, family Nymphalidae. The species is identified by a thick band of dark brown around the outside of the wings, a strong white medial bar on the tip of the wing, and the clear areas in the middle of the wings. This insect is fairly common and ranges from Mexico to Panama. The Glasswing butterfly has a wingspan of 56-58mm. The larvae eat the leaves of plants which include deadly nightshades, oleanders, and dogbane. From these poisonous food plants, the Glasswing larvae collect toxic alkaloids, which make them unpleasant for predators to eat.

The Glasswing butterflies have evolved large clear patches on their wings which help camouflage them while they are flying from one flower to another or while they are perched on a plant. Predators that are looking for lunch may not recognize the Glasswing as a butterfly because their transparent wings break up their outline. Glasswing butterflies feed on nectar from aster flowers. This particular flower is important to their reproduction because male Glasswings obtain a chemical from these flowers that they use in producing their pheromones, chemical scents they use to attract mates.

Ecologists use the presence of the Glasswing butterfly as an indication of high quality habitat, and its demise alerts them of ecological change. Since the international trade for butterflies is growing, Glasswing specimens are often taken from the wild, and they are also cultivated for sale on butterfly ranches. Such activities as logging, coal mining, farming with agrochemicals, and increased ranching greatly threaten Glasswing populations. The Glasswing butterflies are often viewed as delicate gems among nature.



capten hook said...

thank you so much! I have to do this project on "exotic" insects and you really healped.

Brittanie said...

Awwwwwwww, glad I could do so! Tell me about your project when you're done with it.

And let me know if you need anything. :)

krystal said...

I need help on the habitat of the glasswing butterfly and the food,predators,defence help me!!!

Brittanie said...

Well the defense of one is pretty obvious the clear wings hide it from predators.

But if they have others I'm not aware of them. I'll see what I can find on the food and what could eat them if they're found.

What's interesting me now is the caterpillars and their behavior & defensive tactics.

I'll let you know what I can find.

abbster said...

Thanx I need 2 do a project 2 about butterflys. This really helps!

abbster said...

wat do they eat?????

Anonymous said...

what is the class of the glasswing butterfly???

Anonymous said...

Wow! These are some beautiful creatures! I can't believe I've never heard of one before. Thank you for posting what you know about them. You helped a great deal in my school project!