This butterfly relies on transparency to protect itself

It’s been nicknamed the "little mirror" from the forests of South America. But for this butterfly, this extraordinary appearance is a simple matter of survival. Meet the Greta oto.

This is the espejitos

This is the “little mirror” from the forests of South America. For this butterfly, its extraordinary appearance is a simple matter of survival. While most butterflies have patterns on their wings to provide camouflage from predators, the Greta oto relies on transparency.

Also known as the “glasswing butterfly,” it is found throughout an area covering Central and South America. Its wings are between 5.6 and 6.1 cm in size and, with the exception of black veins and reddish brown borders, they appear invisible. This transparency is due to how the wing’s microstructures are arranged, which allows for low absorption and reflection of light, regardless of the angle at which light hits the wings. The light simply goes through them.

But to avoid being preyed upon, the Greta oto has another feature. After consuming nectar from plants that contain toxic alkaloids, it stores those toxins in its body, making itself toxic to predators such as birds. Despite its enchanting appearance, this butterfly is flying poison to its predators.


01/21/2020 8:04 AM


  • Fidel D.
    01/28/2021 04:08

    Maravillas de la creación

  • Shalece K.
    10/22/2020 23:53

    structure and function!

  • Mikey L.
    10/07/2020 20:13

    Cool butterfly!

  • Zufishan G.
    09/16/2020 10:51

    In love with Greta oto!

  • Hadas N.
    09/02/2020 17:39


  • Rabia K.
    09/02/2020 11:19

    Useful information

  • Emilly O.
    09/02/2020 04:55

    Ooooh i took a picture of one in my yard last month, it's SO PRETTY, I'm from Sao Paulo, southeast of Brazil. Shame I'm not able to share it in the comments

  • Suzan L.
    09/01/2020 19:29

    share this with Sheila Tman for me please

  • Josie A.
    08/31/2020 21:48

    Is the music from Preisner?

  • Aroti B.
    08/31/2020 11:32

    Wow amazing !

  • Zeina G.
    08/31/2020 06:25


  • Bitt G.
    08/31/2020 03:29

    Okay, I'm not an expert on this stuff by any means, but it doesn't look like a dragonfly to me and I've never heard of a poisonous butterfly.

  • Nithin R.
    08/31/2020 01:45


  • Amro A.
    08/31/2020 01:30


  • Ariel F.
    08/31/2020 00:20


  • Odette M.
    08/30/2020 22:45

    It’s not a butterfly 🦋, it’s a dragonfly 🤔

  • Gill C.
    08/30/2020 21:38

    That is amazing!

  • Caitlin M.
    08/30/2020 21:19


  • Stephen H.
    08/30/2020 20:41

    Butterfly you’re T O X I C

  • Md. M.
    08/30/2020 19:42