These butterflies and the next page (see link at bottom) are from Central America. I spent a week in April 2007 at La Selva biological station in Costa Rica. And we spent a week in 2008 in Chan Chich, Belize. And a week in Panama in the Canopy Tower area in 2009. My friends and I shot all the butterflies that would sit for us while chasing birds and robber flies. This beautiful glassywing was seen three to four times at least by me on the forest trails in La Selva. It is Dulceda polita. It flew low like a satyr and absolutely vanished sometimes in the shade. This flashed shot shows the body through the wings. The blue spot looked disembodied in flight.

A topside shot of another glassy-winged species with a fine red posterior blush. This is Cithaerias menander. Another Satyrid of the forest floor. Deep bouncy flight. Note the body focused through the clear wings. Host plant and early stages of this butterfly are unknown. From La Selva.

A side shot which Norm says makes the hindwing look like a Piranha about to take a bite out of you. 

And from the Canopy Lodge area of Panama, Eric found this Greta species. Most of the clearwings are brushfoots in the Ticlear group. Ithomia and Greta can look similar. The outward curved vein in the upper hindwing makes this a Greta, and possibly G. morgane oto.  

A striking white Daggerwing nectaring on poop. I just waited next to the poop for this fast flying butterfly to return. It was along an open river shoreline at La Selva. As far as I can determine from Devries this is Marpesia merops. They like rivers. And are much paler on the upper surface than the other daggers.

A member of the big tropical Heliconius group. This is Heliconius doris. They come in yellow and red and blue and green versions. Apparently all color forms can arise from the same batch of eggs. Feeds on Passiflora like most of the group. Really beautiful butterflies. From the La Selva trip.

A smaller Heliconius by nearly half also from La Selva. This is H. sara fulgidus.  Feeds on Passiflora auriculata, which apparently limits its distribution. Shining blue on the inside of the hindwing.

Norm diagnosed this Belizean beauty as an Ismenius Longwing otherwise known as the Tiger Heliconian. This would be Heliconius ismenius. I believe he is correct. We saw several other longwings there but they were tough to get to rest.

A pair-at-dance shot of another Longwing from the river trail at La Selva. This is Eueides lybia olympia. The subspecies on the Pacific side has orange spots instead of white on the forewing. I may have been lucky to find the pair down low as they are apparently canopy lovers. Intolerant of disturbed areas, very little is known of its biology. Though it is said to sleep gregariously.

The longwing mimic that graces the cover of volume 1 of Devries Costa Rican butterflies. This is Mechanitis polymnia isthmia. A female. It is the commonest and most widespread of the Ithomiinae. They feed on Solanaceae mostly. And Solanum most often. Love disturbed areas. The larvae are gregarious.

One of the genera that one wants to see every time you go to the tropics. Big stealthy things. Floppy flight, these things are the size of good sized bats. I plucked one off a tree in Costa Rica years ago. These are Giant-owls, named for that eyeball that stares at you from the hindwing.

Caterpillars are highly gregarious. The cats have a split tail and a crown of blunt spikes on the head like a Triceratops. They feed on Heliconia and Musa mainly. Reportedly army ants will not eat the cats due to some chemical game they play. Nice trick. There are five species in Costa Rica and all of these also occur in Panama where there may be another species or two. This is from the Old Gamboa road in Panama. You can see some blue peaking from the upper hindwing. Kim Garwood has C. eurilochus in the Tower area. If pushed, I would say this is likely C. illoneus however.

A member of the Owlet group, mostly in the genus Opsiphanes. All smaller than the above Giant-owls. This is likely O. cassina. Larvae are similar to the Caligo larvae. Several eat Palm species. O. cassina feeds on Acrocomia and Bactris and Cocos. From inside the Canopy Tower where many butterflies were trapped by the lighting.

Another Satyrid (yeah, yeah, I am jumping around) with striking markings and bouncy forest floor flight from La Selva. This was a big butterfly. It has the fantastic latin name of Pierella helvetia incanescens. Flashes the red inner hindwings when flying.

Same Satyr with the red showing. Like most in this group, you don't often get to see the interior. 

I seemed to favor the Satyrid group at La Selva. Perhaps because they were flying down where I was. This is a Cissia species. Probably C. metaleuca. That big white band is distinctive. Feeds on grasses.

Yet another Satyr. I thought this was Euptychia mollis. Apparently fairly rare in Costa Rica and in primary rain forest only. This one was certainly in the right habitat. I am not sure this wasn't the only one of this species that I saw there. See below image for more comments on the genus. Most of these feed on Selaginella. At least six species or more in the genus in Costa Rica.

From Panama, Norm's Euptychia that made me look at the above image more closely. This is the match for Glassberg's image of Euptychia jesia, but in DeVries E. jesia is a very different looking animal. I think Glassberg's image is incorrect or labeled wrong. I believe this is either mollis or westwoodi. I will have to see if some classification has changed on this genus. Some subtle differences in hindwings in the two images but may not be enough. See images here under Euptychia.

A fantastic butterfly from the Canopy Tower area of Panama. These were flying around the tower and this one was at the zoo gardens. Fast powerful flight, often landed upside down as here and pumped the wings. The caterpillars feed on the beautiful Cecropia trees we saw everywhere around the tower. They resemble Admirals but are not related. This is Historis odius. The only other genus member is H. acheronta and it has five or six white spots where this has only one on the distal upper forewing. It is much less common than this widespread canopy and fruit-loving butterfly.

A genus to make you gasp and wonder what it was as it zips off. Hamadryas. Eight or nine species in Mexico and sometimes difficult to tell apart by these interiors unless you photograph them. They feed on Euphorbiaceae mostly. Cats are spiny with two long head spines up front. Big fast butterflies that immediately show off these spotty interiors when they land. They come to fruit feeders. Several are canopy lovers where DeVries found them much more commonly than elsewhere in Costa Rica. This is Hamadryas feronia and it is one of the Crackers that make it to the US. We saw another whiter species that would not stay still. This was at the zoo gardens in Panama in the Canopy Tower area. The whiter species was at Pipeline road. 

I thought this was a Doxocopa, which is a sizeable but rarely seen genus in Central America with at least 9 known in Costa Rica. Apparently this is Nica flavilla (Little Banner). More common and pictured by Devries only on the upperside. Feeds on Sapindaceae. From La Selva. Thanks to Kim Garwood for the correction.

This green and white barred creature is distinctive in the rain forests. Upper forewings have some intense blue that the males show when perched but hide when disturbed. This is Nessaea aglaura aglaura. It is a primary rain forest and swamp forest animal only. Intolerant of disturbed woodlands. It can be abundant at La Selva according to Devries. 

Very likely the cat of the Nessaea above. Found on the trails. Jade green and spiny with those forward longhorns.

Checkerspot, and there is likely only one in the genus Thessalia in Belize. T. theona also occurs in the SW US.

Looks like a Crescent, doesn't it? This is likely the Mayan Crescent, Castilia myia. Also from Belize. Not sure it ventures down to Costa Rica.

The interior of the Mayan Crescent, Castilia myia. Looks a bit like the Texan Crescent on the inside.

Another big genus in the rain forests is Memphis. I looked everywhere for them and frankly expected to see them. And there is an Anaea species in Costa Rica as well but apparently only on the Pacific side. And the Memphis genus is closely related to the Leaf-winged Anaeas. However this turns out to be Caerois gerdrudius, the Gerdrudius Morpho. Found only in deep swamp forest apparently. And fairly rare. Cryptic and solitary, feeds on Socratea durisima in Arecaceae. From La Selva. Also identified by Kim Garwood.

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