Sunday, January 15, 2012

White-tipped Cycadians

We stayed at Bijagual Ecological Reserve in Sarapiquí for the first half of our Costa Rica trip.  On our first day at the reserve we were lucky enough to see these White-tipped Cycadians (Eumaeus godartii) coming out of their cocoons. It was amazing to see them all come out at the same time, not to mention the colors and the incredible way the wings were folded. 

You can see in the photo below how the wings looked when they first came perfectly flat origami pieces with a hidden surprise.

Below you can see the wings are starting to unfurl.  I don't think I can properly describe in words how beautiful the unfolding process was.  I suppose it is like watching a flower bloom.

Here you can see the wings are completely unfolded.

It wasn't long before their sun-dried wings took them away and all we were left with were dried cocoons.

When I googled this butterfly I came across the Butterflies of America website where there are some great photos of the caterpillars.  Oh, and if you are curious the host plant is Zamia neurophyllidia  - a cycad of course! (Many thanks to Paul Foster, reserve director, for the IDs)

1 comment:

Christina said...

Beautiful! I am dying to go to Cost Rica... Gorgeous photos!