The Butterfly Conservancy in the village of Castillo on Lake Arenal near Arenal Observatory Lodge is very good with multiple greenhouses for the different butterfly habitats plus outside natural butterflies with all being native to Costa Rica. And for the history-lovers, this is the little town that was once called Nuevo Arenal after the lake was flooded to make electricity and covered the original town of Arenal. 🙂
I only got useable photos of 14 species with 15 photos here because the White-spotted Prepona is so different with folded wings and open wings. 🙂 And I will just start with him as the first two photos followed by 13 more:
The brown on either side of the eye appears to go through the eye and is thus “the mask.” Like many frog species, he comes in different colors making ID less obvious as you can see in my Masked Tree Frog GALLERY or read about the Smilisca phaeota on Wikipedia. We found him in the fountain pool outside the Reception Lobby of Arenal Observatory Lodge.
and one website called it an “Urban Mushroom” while a third site more logically called it the “Japanese Parasol Mushroom.” 🙂 These were seen on a morning walk growing under the Higueron Tree (Strangler Fig) by the cow pasture in front of my house. This identity was found on the internet which sometimes works if I use the right words! 🙂 I started to just call them “Fluted Mushrooms” (my first impression) but learned on the internet search that that is the name of a culinary recipe! 🙂 There is also a “Fluted Bird’s Nest Mushroom” that is different and concave like a nest. Nature continues to entertain me! 🙂
The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl or Mochuelo Comúnen español, is one of the smaller of the many owls found in Costa Rica and for the first time I saw one this morning in my yard uphill from me with four photos to follow (though I was shooting into the sun). I’ve seen this species 3 other places in Costa Rica and you can see those photos in myFerruginous Pygmy-Owl GALLERY. And one of the more interesting sightings was outside Costa Rica of a family of this owl in Guatemala which they locally called “Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl” but I’m pretty sure it is the same species. 🙂
This was one of the butterflies in my garden this morning that I haven’t seen here for awhile. He is similar to te Broad-banded Swallowtail and a little bit like the Thoas & the Ornythion Swallowtails, so you have to examine the details in the photos for a good ID. 🙂
You can read about the Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes on either of these websites: butterfliesandmoths.org or the butterfliesofamerica.com, the first of which is where I will eventually post one or more of these photos, when I get caught up, and the second sight is another one I use for identification along with my favorite butterfly book, A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America. The gallery below includes 2 top views, 2 bottom wing views and 2 side views or folded wings views of this beautiful big butterfly.
Another “First Time Seen” butterfly for me, so I’m doing a second post today! 🙂 One of the “Hairstreak” butterflies, the Dusky-blue Groundstreak, Calycopis isobeon (link to butterflies & moths.org), is all over Costa Rica and another fingernail-sized butterfly! 🙂
I’m posting more butterflies than birds now partly because I haven’t had many birds in my garden and this is the time of year for more butterflies in Atenas is one reason. Another is that my interest in butterflies is going up and I have just become the “Costa Rica Coordinator” for the website butterfliesandmoths.org and since they haven’t had a CR Coordinator for 7 or more years here, I inherited a backlog of 450 submissions which will take months to go through, identify and approve while I’m anxious to submit my own 150 species photographed here. 🙂 I seem to always have plenty to keep me busy! 🙂 Enjoy this cool and different tiny butterfly and go outside and look for some where you live!
Yeah, that’s the real common name for this butterfly, Blushing Phantom, (link to Wikipedia article with very little info), the Cithaerias pireta pireta (Mexico to Colombia, Ecuador) also known as the “Pink tipped Clearwing Satyr” and the “Rusted Clearwing Satyr.” It is my first one to see and also the only “clearwing” I’ve seen with an eye spot! It was in the jungles of the archaeological site Guayabo National Monument, Costa Rica, so maybe it’s a prehistoric butterfly! 🙂
I’m showing birds photographed at the hotel the first day and a half since tomorrow I do Carara National Park Birds and want to separate them. There will be more from hotel, like water birds at beach which I’ve not done yet. But this gives you an idea of some of the birds you can see here. Click image to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
Punta Leona is huge and having a car here would be helpful, though they do have shuttle vans when available, but as always, the walking is good for me! 🙂 And I’m exhausted from walking several hours today!
They are strict about the 3PM check-in time meaning they held my luggage from my 11AM arrival until 3 at the front desk while I explored, photographing birds and butterflies in their above-average butterfly garden, finding the Scarlet Macaws and their nest boxes that are all very, very high in very, very tall old trees.
I walked to the closest beach, Mantas Beach and may wait for the shuttle to see Playa Blanca. In the midst of what must have been a gorgeous old-growth forest they have placed buildings of all kinds while saving a lot more big old trees than most developers, but it is still a development with houses, condos, hotels, cabins, restaurants, etc.
Except for the Scarlet Macaws, all the birds I saw today are pretty common all over Costa Rica. I’m doing the 6AM birding hike on property in the morning (Wed) and Thursday morning I’m going with a guide to Carara National Park. The transportation to Tarcoles River is pretty expensive, so I decided to pass on that, since I’ve been there about 8 or 9 times! The rest of the week I’ll just explore their huge property. And oh yeah, I have to wear one of those plastic bracelets while on the property, 🙂