Habitat: New Guinea and surrounding islands
Status: Not listed

Owl-my-god this butterfly looks exactly like an owl! Predators certainly wouldn’t want to mess with a butterfly that looks like it might fight back… and win. That’s why this Silky Owl Butterfly (Taenaris catops) employs this clever mimicking trick. You might be thinking, though, what if the predator comes at it from the right… or the left? Would it make a difference depending on where the fake eye spots are situated? Ah, well, of course mother nature planned for this very query:

silky owl butterfly, Taenaris catops (4)

photo: www.butterflyutopia.com

See? There are two sets of distinct eye spots on either wing. This means no matter what direction the butterfly is approached from, the predator will still get an eyeful.

It really is incredible just how uncanny the resemblane is between the fake eye spots on the butterfly and a real owl’s set of peepers. Look at them compared to those of the Great Horned Owl, for example:

I mean seriously, you could have fooled me, Silky Owl Butterfly!