Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Also known as the 88 butterfly or the 89 butterfly depending on the large number appearing on the ventral sides of the wings.
There are approximately 20 known species of Numberwing butterflies.
They are called "Numberwings" because of the markings on the ventral side (underside) of their wings, which often appear to be the numbers 88 or 89.
These butterflies are considered endangered, because they are killed in huge numbers for their wings, which are used to produce
decorative items such as plates, jewelry and place mats for the souvenir trade.
The Numberwing caterpillars eat the leaves of the (Sapindacae ) soapberry trees.
As adult butterflies, they will drink animal urine from the ground, and often land on the arms and legs of humans to drink their sweat. (Both urine and sweat are high in important salts and minerals.)
The Numberwings dorsal wing coloration is thought to warn predators not to eat them, as they have a very unpleasant taste.
The adult Numberwings are most often encountered as sole individuals whose flight is rapid and powerful over short distances.
Avg. Wingspan: 8.9 - 10.2 cm / 3 1/2 - 4 "
Diet: caterpillars eat the leaves of soapberry trees
* Males are often seen along sand banks, sipping minerals from the urine soaked ground.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera