Dead Leaf Butterfly
On a crisp fall day this week I took a walk through the forest. With each footstep I heard the crunch of dried fallen leaves underfoot.
The colorful leaves have let go of the branches and are browning as they sit on the ground. The dead leaves remind me that winter is not far away.
In the thick forest regions of the world, regions heavy with rainfall, live butterflies know as leaf butterflies.
The shape of their wings has the appearance of dried leaves.
They seem to prefer to rest among the dead and decaying leaves.
Patches of color on the wings look like blemishes, tears and fungal growth giving the exact appearance of a dead leaf.
You may see the butterfly zig- zag along a forest path and suddenly rest on a shrub. Approaching, you move branches looking for the butterfly among the leaves. It is not until you touch the branch where it sits that it will startle and dart away. The butterfly’s ability to conceal itself perfectly is instinctual. It is rarely seen in open areas and never flies far. The Kallima species are found in South America, New Guinea, India, Madagascar and the Gold Coast. It’s violet or pale blue color with banding across the wing varies from dry season to wet season but it is a beautiful conversation piece no matter what the season. Kallima Incachis is camouflaged on a branch with wings closed and in flight with wings spread to complete the illusion.