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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.

Brut.

01/21/2020 8:04 AM
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121 comments

  • Reza V.
    06/03/2020 06:33

    Nice

  • Ham A.
    02/27/2020 03:30

    rael.org

  • Farhad A.
    02/18/2020 20:44

    Ena vackrare än det andra 🌹🦋🌹

  • Luis R.
    02/12/2020 14:11

    isn't espejitos a viral music video

  • Sid A.
    02/07/2020 16:58

    The wildlife is wonderful 🌹🌻🌺🌸🌼💮🌷🥀💐

  • Amelie S.
    02/02/2020 19:57

    on en a vue en Équateur des bleu

  • Herlinda C.
    02/01/2020 02:45

    Tuve el placer de ver una sobre unas plantas trepadoras

  • Carmen M.
    02/01/2020 02:29

    Estas mariposas son muy hermosas, transparentes, vi muchas cuando estaba pequeña, y había otra que le decían mediec🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰íto: era amarilla y muy chiquita, ya no se ven........

  • Ochie S.
    02/01/2020 02:27

    Nice creatures😍

  • Rudy Y.
    02/01/2020 01:43

    Are you sure its butterfly, not a dragonfly?

  • Rosalía P.
    02/01/2020 00:48

    Ari mira tu mariposa

  • Vicka S.
    01/31/2020 23:18

    Simplemente hemosa

  • DrShaeesta A.
    01/31/2020 19:59

    Woow

  • Annie C.
    01/31/2020 17:34

    Papillons carnivores

  • Dai T.
    01/31/2020 13:29

    Rancangan sang pencipta bukan kebetulan

  • Carmen P.
    01/31/2020 13:24

    Está Mariposa quizás se esté salvando de sus predadores, pero resulta que ya hace un tiempo aquí en Argentina casi no se las ve. En verano sabían migrar en grandes cantidades el cambio climático y la deforestación están haciendo estragos sólo en esta especie, triste porque es una hermosa mariposa

  • Dicky D.
    01/31/2020 09:38

    Subhanallah...

  • Tanu S.
    01/31/2020 03:30

    I love naturals

  • Juanjo H.
    01/30/2020 23:01

    Eros Andrey Toledo Barrios corazón, mira😍

  • Roque H.
    01/30/2020 22:13

    esas mariposas las podia ver en epocas de verano, ya no se las ve por las fumigaciones