Owl Butterfly (Caligo memnon)
Family: Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies).
Geographic Distribution: North, Central and South America. Widespread and common throughout southern Mexico, Central and South America, Trinidad and Tobago.
Wingspan: 14 – 16 cm.
Larval host plants: Heliconia spp., Musa spp. (banana) and Coffea spp. (coffee).
Habitats: Tropical forests and cultivated land.
Identification: Large butterflies with big, owl-like eyespots on the underside of their brindled, gray-brown hindwings. The upper wings grade from tawny to turquoise and are bordered by thick purplish, brown-black bands. The eyes are unusually brindled.
Facts: Adults are crepuscular, meaning they fly early in the morning and late in the evening. There are more than 15 species of Owl Butterflies. The species in the live images is Caligo memnon; the specimen shown below is a different species, Caligo eurilochus.
Egg: 22 days
Caterpillar: 60 days
Chrysalis: 22-30 days
Adult: 21 days
Total life span: 125 - 133 days