Visiting a tropical forest for the first time will no doubt be an exciting experience to look forward to seeing exotic animals and birds. Unfortunately, for many visitors, although they can hear the sounds of the wildlife, the animals and birds are out of sight in the forest canopy.
However, there are plenty of signs showing that the forest is full of life. One living thing you are likely to encounter is the tropical butterfly.
Tropical butterflies stand out for their size, variety and boasting beautiful colors. The green of the forest makes an ideal backdrop for the colorful butterflies. Apart from the traditional colors, you may also encounter butterflies with transparent wings found mostly in South America. Some species sport wings with their undersides even more spectacular than their top surfaces.
While a few butterflies keep a low profile, others have enormous eye spots to brighten up their brown features. Just the sheer size of these species makes visitors gaze in awe. Some are larger than a small bird and glide with a gentle ease.
The number of different butterfly species is remarkable; with over 30 percent in South America alone. Although a butterfly’s wing may display a full range of colors, they don’t always depend on different textures.
Most people picture seeing these species hovering over flowers, but not so in the rain forest. The reason is, most flowers bloom high above in the canopy, providing a feast of nectar for the butterflies, typically unseen by visitors. But all is not lost; fortunately, male butterflies make their way down for salt. In theory, it is believed that the mating process could deplete them of necessary minerals required that are replenished by sucking up moisture from the wet ground.
Therefore, the best place to observe the butterflies without disturbing them would be by the edge of a stream, or a path leading through the rain forest. Another place that you might spot a group of butterflies is in a shared resting place.
Roosting together is a common practice among tropical butterflies. Some might allow you to observe them as they perch on a leaf in the early morning hours. As you watch these magnificent and colorful species, it will certainly brighten up your visit as you wander through the rain forest.