April 23, 2021

Marvelous Glasswing Butterflies With See-through Wings

Not every day we get to see a bug and think “Wow, that’s a pretty bug,” but what you’re about to see now might be indeed the prettiest bug you’ve ever seen.

Glasswing butterfly, AKA Greta oto is a very special butterfly. Their delicate wings have a frame of orange and white colors similar to the monarch butterfly, but surprisingly the rest of their fancy wing is made of a flawless clear pane that looks like a window.

Their gorgeous wing serves two purposes, the warn stripe warns the predators of the toxicity and the clear pane give her the see-through effect allowing her to blend in the surrounding in case of danger. They are able to travel eight miles per hour and are stronger than other butterflies.

h/t: Laughing Squid


Photo: Stock Photos from Pavel1964/Shutterstock

In the video below you will see that since the early caterpillar stage, this glasswing butterfly lacks pigment in its chitin. Without pigment their wings are colorless, making them look almost invisible because of their thinness. To protect themselves from predators, their wings are equipped with many tiny nanopillars (wax towers which form a rough texture upon microscopic inspection of a wing’s surface). A rough texture prevents the surface from being reflective, giving the illusion of almost “empty” panes.

These unique insects are found in Central and South America, but just like other butterflies, they also migrate seasonally.


Photo: Stock Photos from Albert Beukhof/Shutterstock


Photo: Stock Photos from Darkdiamond67/Shutterstock

Photo: Stock Photos from Jearu/Shutterstock

Photo: Stock Photos from Bahadir Yeniceri/Shutterstock

Take a closer look at glasswing butterfly in action:

h/t: Laughing Squid