Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Owl fun facts

Owls Butterflies are part of the subfamily Brassolinae. All species belonging to this subfamily have pronounced eye-spots on their wings called Ocelli (singular: ocellus). Many species are considered agricultural pests, species belonging to the genus Brassolis can defoliate whole coconut palm trees. The larvae of the Giant Owl eat banana leaves. Most species in Brassolinae are crepuscular fliers meaning that they fly at dusk. Some species are totally nocturnal. None are known to be unpalatable to predators.

Owl Butterflies do not have many natural defenses. Oddly enough their large wings act as a defense mechanism, large portions can be torn away by predators allowing the owls to escape without sustaining life threatening injuries, Owl Butterfly wings are sometimes referred to as "tear away" wings. Owl Butterflies are known for their large eye-spot commonly thought to mimic an Owl's eye. However, current opinion within Lepidopterist circles suggests that the eye-spot evolved to mimic the eye of either a frog or large mammal. Another hypothesis suggests that the large Ocellus acts as a target for predators, guiding them to the rear portion of the hindwing which is less vital than other wing regions.

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