<< Previous Next >>

Busy Mama

Busy Mama
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot SX110IS
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Guatemala & Belize
Theme(s): Butterflies & Moths [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-29 7:02
Viewed: 5387
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A busy Owl Butterfly in the act of procreation.

Owl Butterfly
Caligo Memnon

Butterflies in the genus Caligo are commonly called Owl butterflies, after their huge eyespots, which resemble owls' eyes. There are about 20 species in the genus, found in the rainforests and secondary forests of Mexico, Central and South America.

Functions of the wing pattern:

The underwing pattern is highly cryptic. It is conceivable that the eye pattern is a generalized form of mimicry. It is known that many small animals hesitate to go near patterns resembling eyes with a light-colored iris and a large pupil, which matches the appearance of the eyes of many predators that hunt by sight. Caligo's main predators are apparently small lizards such as Anolis.

According to the Batesian mimicry theory the pattern on the wings of Caligo resemble the head of a predator like a lizard or an amphibian.
It should deter predators while resting, feeding, mating or emerging from the pupa.

The role of eyespots as antipredator mechanisms has been discussed since the 19th Century. Several hypotheses are suggested to explain their occurrence. In some butterflies, particularly Satyrinae (such as the Gatekeeper Butterfly and the Grayling), it has been shown that ocelli serve as a decoy, diverting bird attack away from the vulnerable body, and towards the outer part of the hindwings or the forewing tip.
Research of Stevens et al. (2008), however, suggests that eye-spots are not a form of mimicry and do not deter predators because they look like eyes. Rather the conspicuous contrast in the patterns on the wings deter predators. In this study, however, the influence of surrounding forms, like the head region of a predator, was not tested. Also the question why animals evolved such complex imitations of other species is left.

Owl butterflies are very large, 65-200 mm, and fly only a few metres at a time, so avian predators have little difficulty in following them to their settling place. However, the butterflies preferentially fly in dusk, when few avian predators are around. The Latin name may possibly refer to their active periods. Caligo means darkness.

Some owl butterflies form leks in mating behavior.


This shot was taken at a butterfly farm.

hansh, horias, livius, marianas has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2010-01-29 7:21]

Hello Manyee.

Great shot of this butterfly laying her eggs.
Very fine POV. very sharp and a lovely looking at this moment.
Thank you for sharing it.

Gr. Hans

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-01-29 8:09]

Hello Manyee
What a great capture this lovely butterfly in the act of procreation.
Great shot !

Fantastic capture with nice detail.Rare one.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2010-01-29 9:41]

Hello Manyee,
a nice scene showing the large Caligo female attaching huge numbers of eggs.
The details seen are amazing. Control of flash light is not easy as it may produce
dark backgrounds and in contrast over-exposed areas in the foreground. The latter
is not or only very slightly the case. The contrast to the background appears rather strong.
But nevertheless you produced a beautiful picture of the butterfly and present us a nice document.
Best wishes, Peter

Interesting capture and very nice title of yours photo.
Well done.
Best regards.Alin.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-01-29 10:14]

Hello Manyee,
Excellent photo of this Owl Butterfly, laying her eggs. Impressive markings in the wings. Good sharpness, details and composition. Beautiful natural colours. This was taken in a butterfly house?

  • Great 
  • livius Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 300 W: 0 N: 391] (1525)
  • [2010-01-29 11:52]

Hello Manyee
fine capture of a beautiful Caligo Memnon with interesting point of view and excellent details. Great colors and focusing.

Great Owl Butterfly !
Fantatsic scene of the act of procreation.

  • Great 
  • izida Silver Star Critiquer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 0] (1232)
  • [2010-01-30 2:49]

Merhaba Manyee,
Cok guzel bir kelebek karesi ve ani.Muhtesem renkleri ile etkiliyeci bir kare
Elinize saglik

Calibration Check