|Great Orangetip Butterfly – Hebomoia glaucippe|
Captive live butterflies photographed at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago IL.
Butterfly Main | Skippers | Butterfly Index
Native to Southeast Asia and Australasia (New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea), the great orangetip butterfly is one of the biggest Pierids, with a wingspan up to 10 cm (4 inches). These rather shy butterflies hang around along the edges and tracks of tropical rainforests, visiting flowers during the day and hiding in thick vegetation at night.
Great orangetips congregate in damp areas during the heat of the day, after the manner of many other butterflies such as the cabbage white, and various skipper butterflies (below).
Butterflies are among the most fascinating and beautiful animals. Even people who care not for insects in general usually have an affection for these winged wonders. They live nearly everywhere — from gardens and forests and mountains to acid bogs and frozen arctic tundra. Almost 700 of the world's 10 – 20,000 species live in North America north of Mexico.
Children love butterflies, adults love butterflies and museums find them easy to raise and maintain – everybody wins. This happy circumstance is also good for the wild butterflies – people who used to go into the rain forest and capture live butterflies, or plunder their eggs and chrysalises now can be set to work on butterfly farms, thereby sparing our wild populations, and providing much needed jobs for many impoverished regions.
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Order Lepidoptera, which contains both butterflies and moths, includes at least 125,000 known species including 12,000 in North America. Butterflies are revered for their brightly colored wings and pleasing association with fair weather and flowers.