Butterfly Physiology – Term Paper

Why do the male owl caligo butterflies engage in territorial defense in the dawn and the dusk?

Butterflies like other insects, birds, and animals share reproductive behaviors which require them to spend a lot of energy and time (Srygley 23). These habits are dangerous and may lead to death for instance when preyed by their predators or killed in a lek encounter. The owl caligo idomenaeus, are an itresting group of butterflies that are found guarding their territories in the dawn and the dusk (Freitas, Benson, Marini-Filho and de Carvalho 16). Each male has a territory to defend and ensures no invasion by chasing away the intruders. Due to the lower temperatures in the dawn, they shiver rapidly to increase their body temperatures as they conduct their patrol around their territories (Freitas et al. 17). Their protective behavior indicates there are males since they do so to protect their mating zones. They are brave in nature considering they are enormous and palatable as they can be easily spotted by their predators. Most tropical forest butterflies are not interested in protecting territories which make the caligo idomenaeus, an interesting item for study. The proposed research shall dwell on the reason for the owl caligo idomenaeus, butterflies to guard their territories during the dawn and the dusk. 

Explaining Study of Butterflies

Reproduction is the reason behind so much risking of life by various creatures. Therefore, different behavioral patterns have developed (Srygley 23). Species fight for survival or rely on natural selection to get a mate for reproduction. The owl caligo idomenaeus has not been left behind, and apart from aggressively being ready for fights to defend a chance for reproduction, they actively mark their territories each day and guard it. This area guarding venture is rare in this type of butterflies (Freitas et al. 18). However, it is even more interesting that they do guard at a particular time of the day. These are insects they do not have a clock to keep time but at dawn and dusk they up and flying chasing the invaders. The study is important since it will focus on understanding the importance of the guarding during that time and not the other hours of the day. 


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The owl caligo idomenaeus, butterflies, guard during dawn and dusk due to small chances of predation.

Procedure for confirming the hypothesis

I will visit a tropical forest or places I can access the owl caligo idomenaeus, butterflies in a natural environment. I will identify a location and plan to capture some samples to help in studying this behavior. I will also mark the regions within the habit that I will be focusing on a daily basis and observe the surrounding environment as it a chance with time before and after the caligo arrives and leaves the study area. I will note any of it morphology and physiological enhancements, and how they changed or look at their orientation concerning the behavior. I will record my findings gathered during the study period and draw conclusions.

Conclusion about Physiology of Butterfly Essay

Creatures struggle for existence and even when they exist they struggle to reproduce for continuity of their generations. For this happen, they have to develop a habit that will keep them on the advantage within their habitat. The owl caligo idomenaeus, butterflies, mark and guard their territories in the dusk and dawn each day.

Work cited

Freitas, André VL, Benson W. Woodruff, Marini-Filho J. Onildo and de Carvalho M. Roberta “Territoriality by the dawn’s early light: the Neotropical owl butterfly Caligo idomenaeus(Nymphalidae: Brassolinae).” Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 34.1 (1997): 14-20.

Srygley, Robert B. “Shivering and its cost during reproductive behavior in Neotropical owl butterflies, Caligo and Opsiphanes (Nymphalidae: Brassolinae).” Animal behavior 47.1 (1994): 23-32.