Costa Rica Butterflies

For more of our visit to Costa Rica click on Animals and birds, Flowers and plants, Tortuguero, Arenal or San Jose.
Costa Rica is home to many varieties of butterflies.
We saw many during our all to brief visit but got pictures of only a few.
I would appreciate a note if you can help with the identification of any of our unknowns.
In fact since I have based my identifications on pictures I found on the web (which weren't necessarily correct) let me know if I have misidentified any of them if you know better.

Danalid Butterfly (Lycorea cleobaea)

A Melinaea (Melinaea messatis)
Note the curled proboscis in the second picture.

This resembles a monarch but is probably a Heliconius Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius hecale).

A Blue and White Longwing or Common Postman (Heliconius erato or melpomene)

Two Red Postman butterflies (Heliconius melpomene or possibly erato) , This species is poisonous.
Another site calls it a
Crimson Patched Longwing or Red Passion Flower Butterfly (Erato Heliconian)

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)
Underside, top and very worn top of the wings.

These are Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) butterflies.
They are vivid blue as they are in nearly constant motion.
When they land (briefly) they fold their wings together revealing only the underside.
The first picture shows just a hint of blue along the leading edge.

A Blue Morpho on the wing.

They flit about nearly continuously. If they do stop they fold their wings together so you can only see the rather drab underside.

This Blue Morpho is resting on a paved walkway having spent it's energy finding a mate and it is now near the end of it's life.


This Owl butterfly (Caligo memnon) has just emerged from it's chrysalis.

And a visitor to this page identified this as its caterpillar.
He also identified one of the flowers I had been unable to name.
Thanks twice Rupert.

Here it is in flight, a little blurred by the rapid wing motion.

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

An unknown caterpillar.

The design on this unknown butterfly(1) seems likely to confuse predators into thinking it is facing the other way.

Unknown (2) has just emerged from it's chrysalis.
Since I just have a picture of the underside of the wings and the top side is often different identification is difficult

Unknown (3) I have the same problem with the identification of this one.

For more of our visit to Costa Rica click on
Animals and birds, Flowers and plants, Tortuguero, Arenal or San Jose.

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