There are between 15,000 and 20,000 species of butterflies worldwide. And some of these species are now endangered because the delicate balance of nature is destroyed – as it has been in so many natural places – the butterfly is almost always one of the first to disappear.
A butterfly is an insect of the order of Lepidoptera. Like all Lepidoptera, butterflies are notable for their unusual life circle with a larval caterpillaran inactive pupal stage, and a spectacular metamorphosis into a familiar and colorful winged adult form. Most species of butterflies are day-flying so they regularly attract attention. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (super family Papilionoidea), the skippers (super family Hesperiodea) and the moth-butterflies (super family Hedylidea). Below are some endangered species of butterfly.
A Morpho butterfly may be one of over 80 species of the genus Morpho. They are found mostly in Mexico, South America and Central America. Their wingspan ranges from 7.5 cm (3 inch) to 20 cm (8 inch). Many Morpho butterflies are colored in metallic, shimmering shades of blue and green.
The Emerald Swallowtail (Papilio palinurus) is a butterfly found primarily in South East Asia and is one of the very few green butterflies around. It is also referred to as Emerald Peacock or Green-banded Peacock Swallowtail. Several subspecies are found in Burma, Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines.
The giant owl butterfly falls under the genus Caligo and are commonly called Owl butterflies, after their huge eyespots, which resemble owls’ eyes. There are about 20 species in the genus, found in the rain forests of Mexico, central and South America.
Owl butterflies are very large,whose wingspan can reach more than 8in and fly only a few meters at a time. Therefore, avian predators have little difficulty in following them to their settling place. However, the butterflies preferentially fly around dusk, when few avian predators are around.
Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis ) have a wingspan of about an inch where male and female are different in appearance. The topside of the male is silvery or dark blue with narrow black margins. The female is grayish brown, especially on the outer portions of the wings , to blue on the topside, with irregular bands of orange crescents inside the narrow black border. The underside of both sexes is gray with a continuous band of orange crescents along the edges of both wings and with scattered black spots circled with white.