The Glasswing Butterfly

Note the blue wings on this butterfly from the Ithomiinae subfamily. This butterfly is actually a Glasswing Butterfly; it's wings are as clear as glass. The stained-glass effect you see in this photo is actually just the effect of my strobe flashes.

You can see the vegetation behind them. The wings of these delicate jungle butterflies give them an ethereal elusive quality.

Glasswing Butterfly

There are 370 Ithomiini clearwing butterflies in the world, ranging throughout Latin America. Their invisibility, along with their preference for certain types of plants, gives them a bizarre smell and taste that every type of animal, from bird to mammal to insect, despises.

These butterflies can afford to be delicate, ethereal jungle dwellers because they have cornered the market on assuring their safety by emitting unusual odors, making them unpalatable to everything that may wish to eat butterflies.