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Amazon Butterflies

Amazon Rainforest Butterflies

Amazon Rainforest Butterflies are definitely a favorite sight for tourists in the Amazon Rainforest. Often, you can see large and colorful butterflies flying over the rivers. The most famous butterfly in the Amazon is the impressively sized Blue Morphos mentioned below. Butterflies are so popular that they are often regarded as ‘honorary vertebrates’ by some conservationists. This means they can have a higher protection than other invertebrates like other insects and spiders.

Blue Morpho

Blue Morpho in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Iquitos, Peru

  • Blue Morpho
  • Brush Footed

The common Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) has a large wingspan of about 4 inches and is in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Characteristic of this family are the non-functional legs at the front, which do help with sensing the environment. This is why they’re known as ‘brush-footed butterflies.’ The Blue Morpho caterpillars defend themselves with a defensive smell.

Glass Amazon

Glass Amazon in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Iquitos, Peru

  • Glass Amazon
  • Distasteful

Glass Winged Butterflies are great species to see in the Amazon. They have a completely see-through pair of wings giving them their common name. The photgraphed species (Greta oto) has red and purple caterpillars that eat noxious plants. The toxins are then stored in the butterflies, which makes these butterflies and their caterpillars distasteful to predators. Like the Blue Morpho above, these butterflies are also included in the brush footed family, the Nymphalidae.

Glass Amazon

Glass Amazon in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Iquitos, Peru

  • Glass Amazon
  • Little Research

Another glass winged butterfly, but of another species (Haetera piera). Almost nothing is known about the caterpillar stages of this butterfly and little is known for the whole butterfly tribe this species belongs to, the Haeterini. The butterflies fly close to the ground and are widespread across South America’s lowland forests. They have a subtle coloration over their transparent wings, which are each patterned with two eye spots.

Sulfur Butterflies

Sulphur Butterflies in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Iquitos, Peru

  • Sulphur Butterflies
  • Puddling
  • Drink Eye Fluid

Sulfur butterflies, known as pierids as they’re in the Pieridae family, are often seen around puddles of water and include around 70 different species throughout the Neo Tropics. The butterflies aren’t just after water but important minerals like sodium. A favorite photograph for Amazon Rainforest tourists to capture, you can sometimes see butterflies drinking from the eyes of aquatic reptiles like turtles and caiman.

Kite Swallowtail

Sulphur Crested Butterflies in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Iquitos, Peru

  • Kite Swallowtail
  • Safety in Numbers

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Here is a close up photograph of a species you can make out in the sulfur butterfly photos, but the photos are from two different locations. The sulfur butterfly photo is from the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve near Iquitos, Peru, and the photo above is from the Tambopata National Reserve near Puerto Maldonado, south Peru. These are kite swallowtails in the Eurytides genus that often join sulfur butterflies as they do their puddling behavior. They too drink the water to obtain different minerals and can be distinguished from the sulfurs by their tails and black markings. It’s safer for butterflies to drink in groups as they benefit from safety in numbers. If a predator attacks these highly conspicuous animals, a single butterfly in a group is less likely to be eaten than if drinking alone.

  • what lodge amazon rainforest

    Eight Days

    Tahuayo Lodge Iquitos, Peru

    You can visit the highly regarded Tahuayo Lodge & Amazon Research Center as part of this tour of the bio-diverse Tahuayo Reserve. You are assigned a private guide & you can choose an itinerary to reflect your interests. Boasting the most itinerary options in Amazonia, you can whiz through the trees on the canopy zipline, view poison dart frog initiatives, & observe different monkeys on the A.R.C primate research grid.
    Private Guide, Zipline, Primate Research Grid
  • refugio amazonas lodge, puerto maldonado, butterfly

    Four Days:

    Refugio Amazonas Lodge Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    Butterfly Lover’s Program | 4D / 3N
    On this tour of tambopata’s butterflies, you will get a full on tropical butterfly experience as you see butterflies of the floodplain, river, canopy, and those that gather at clay licks. While looking for butterflies, you can see countless other animals of the reserve, including brightly coloured macaws, peccary, and parakeets.
    peru-rainforest-butterfly-tour-4d-3n
Ash - Author & Travel AdvisorAbout the Author: Ash Card has a BSc in Biology, an MSc in Zoology & a love of nature, travel & conservation. In nature, he enjoys the small dramas that are being played out all around us, such as a parasitic wasp hunting its prey while we walk passed unaware.

Related Pages
1. Tahuayo Lodge Amazon Tour
2. Best Time To Visit The Amazon
3. Biodiversity Loss
4. How To Help Convervation
5. Amazon Rainforest Birds

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