23 Photos - Feb 20, 2012
Photo: The Blue Morpho is one of the more popular of the butterflies that are raised in the botanical gardens.  These exotics are not allowed to escape into the wild.Photo: A Blue morpho contemplates lunch.Photo: Butterflies lay eggs, but what hatches are caterpillars, not butterflies.Photo: Photo: The Great Orange Tip (Hebomoia glaucippe) is just one of many butterflies that can be seen in the greenhouses of the Montreal Botanical Gardens from mid-February until the end of April.Photo: Blue morphoPhoto: Rice paper butterfly.Photo: Rice paper butterfly sipping nectar.Photo: A butterfly's wings are fragile so don't touch!Photo: Guides are on hand in the greenhouses of the botanical gardens to assist visitors with identification of and explanations about the butterflies.Photo: Mimicry is common in the insect world.  Leaves, sticks, thorns, bark, and seed pods are plant forms mimicked for defense from predators.Photo: A mantis lying in ambush.Photo: Predator becomes prey.  The eye markings on the wings of this mantis are believe to be defensive, fooling birds into thinking this insect is actually an animal.Photo: Phyillium giganteum is a leaf insect from Malyasia. It's much easier to show a specimen than attempting to locate a live one.Photo: That high-pitched buzz heard on hot summer nights is produced by cicadas. This wing shows the structural form that allows such a heavy bodied insect to fly.Photo: Creatures such as this mantis have inspired the alien forms portrayed in Hollywood films for the last half century.Photo: Food for thought.  Crickets are found in almost all of the world's environments.  I suspect these are destined for the terrariums where the Insectarium's carnivorous species dwell.Photo: The Monarch is one of the longest-lived butterflies and its epic yearly migration is one of the wonders of the natural world.Photo: Beetle mania.  The diversity of their color makes beetles the jewels of the insect kingdom.Photo: Scorpions are thought to be among the first land creatures.  This one, with a spider visible in the background, was trapped in amber 40 million years ago.  (author's collection)Photo: Ants living 40-50 million years ago were the same as those living today.  Not much evolution has taken place for this successful creature.  (author's collection)Photo: Long before creatures crawled onto land our seas were populated by arthro pods.  This 400-MYA trilobyte fossil (Phacops megalomanicus) shows the compound eyes, segmented body, and exoskeleton we associated with modern day arthropods.  (author's collection)Photo: Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) or Cobra moth is the world's largest moth with wing span of 10 inches.