Ranger Report About Costa Rican Butterflies

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1 1. Ranger Report About Costa Rican Butterflies Kingdom Phylum Class Order Animalia Antropoda Insecta Lepidoptera Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 1

2 Insect Status: Endangered Habitat: Rainforest - all levels About Butterflies Images by Jan Dwire Butterflies have three pair of legs and three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. In addition, they have two paris of wings, the forewings and hind-wings, which are covered with scales. The scales reflect light revealing the patterns and colors of the species. A butterfly s proboscis is it tongue, enabling it to suck up food, nutrients, and moisture. It is hollow and contains two parallel tubes; the end bears the taste sensors. Butterflies and all other insects have both a brain and a heart. The center of a butterfly's nervous system is the sub-esophageal ganglion and is located in the insect's thorax, not its head. The butterfly has a long chambered heart that runs the length of its body on the upper side. It pumps hemolymph (it lacks the red color of blood) from the rear of the insect forward to bathe its internal organs. It has other functions similar to our blood. Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 2

3 Did you know: 1. The pair of antennae on the head is the primary sense organ of a butterfly. 2. Newly emerged or fresh butterflies can have brighter colors while older ones may be faded. 3. Males and females of the same species can look entirely different. 4. Butterflies are day time fliers (moths fly mostly at night) 5. Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow. Characteristics Environmental Threats Life cycle Four Stages Food Life Span Predator Size Weight Beards. Thick black and brown hair Deforestation, humans (collect species), pesticides Egg, caterpillar (or larva), chrysalis (or pupa), adult (or imago) Rotting fruit, tree sap, fungus, wet mud. Depends on species, from two weeks to several months. birds Varies by species Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 3

4 Costa Rica has a rich diversity of butterflies. There exists about 20,000 butterfly species worldwide. Of these, about 1,000 or 5% can be found in Costa Rica. Camouflage and Mimicry To be good tasting and bright is dangerous for an appetizing butterfly. Therefore the good tasting species camouflage themselves by being dull colors. Bad tasting butterflies are colorful as adults and have toxins in their bodies that make the predator sick. The predator once having suffered the consequences of consuming such a butterfly will easily remember the bright color of the wings. It will know from that time on to avoid that color pattern. Although one butterfly will be killed from such an encounter, many more will live. Mimicry is another effective defense. It is used by brightly colored species that are also good tasting. Their bright color patterns have evolved to appear like those of the poisonous butterflies. One example is the orange and black colored Viceroy which is strikingly similar to the poisonous Monarch. A predator that's experienced a monarch would never again venture consuming another orange and black specimen. Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 4

5 Are Butterflies Endangered? Yes, unfortunately. Many species of butterflies are endangered by loss of habitat, deforestation, and by collection of specimens for international trade. What can you do? - Plant flowers and bushes in gardens that attract these beautiful insects. - Help us restore, protect and expand areas of important habitat, improving the environment for us all. - Do not trap or hurt butterflies that you see in the yard. - Don t step on caterpillars - Tell your friends about how to save butterflies. Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 5

6 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE 1. The spiral feeding tube of the butterfly is call the? A - Thorax B - Proboscis C - Abdomen D - Antennae 2. What is the larva stage of a butterfly called? A - Caterpillar B - Pupa C - Abdomen D - Antennae 3. True or false: Butterflies begin their lives as eggs? 4. Why causes butterflies to be endangered? Pick all that apply A - Loss of habitat B - Deforestation C - Collector and poachers trap them 5. Butterflies undergo? A - complete metamorphosis B - incomplete metamorphosis ANSWERS 1. B 2. B 3. True 4. A / B / C 5. C Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 6

7 Copyright - The Rainforest Rangers 7

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