Fun Glasswing Butterfly Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Glasswing Butterfly Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Most insects don’t ring a bell in your mind with words synonymous with beautiful, but there is one exclusion to this. These creatures come in several shapes, forms, and sizes. They inhabit many regions on earth, especially warm tropical regions. The kinds of species are so varied that one type, this butterfly, has clear, transparent wings. Also called Greta oto, this species is a type of brush-footed butterfly. It is a member of subfamily Danainae, tribe Ithomiini, and subtribe Godyridina. Transparent wings allow it to camouflage without being noticed by birds and predators. In Spain,  because of its transparent wings, it is known as Espejitos, which means 'tiny mirrors.' The butterfly originated in the Central and northern regions of South America with sightings as far north as Texas and as far south as Chile. While its wings are delicate, the butterfly can carry up to weight up to 40 times its own weight. It is also known for behaviors such as long migrations and lekking. The Greta oto looks like the Greta andromica. Their wings are like transparent windows, making them almost invisible. These little wonders are acts of both beauty and nature's magisterial engineering! If you love reading about this beautiful butterfly, enjoy reading our butterfly guide about other species like birds of morpho butterfly and purple emperor butterfly.

Fun Glasswing Butterfly Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Plants and bird droppings

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Very delicate

How long are they?

1.1-1.2 in (2.8 to 3.3 cm)

How tall are they?

2.2-2.4 in (5.6 to 6.1 cm)

What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Extinct

Where you'll find them?

Tropical Forests


Central America, South America, And North Texas




Glasswing butterfly




Brush-footed butterfly

Glasswing Butterfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a glasswing butterfly?

Glasswing butterfly is a type of insect.

What class of animal does a glasswing butterfly belong to?

This species of butterfly belongs to the class of insects.

How many glasswing butterflies are there in the world?

The exact population of these butterflies has not been recorded.

Where does a glasswing butterfly live?

Glasswing butterfly lives in warm tropical forests.

What is a glasswing butterfly's habitat?

Glasswing butterfly is a migratory butterfly. Therefore it is found in almost all habitats in Central America. This butterfly with clear wings ranges from Mexico to Panama.

Who do glasswing butterflies live with?

The males gather in large groups when it's time to mate.

How long does a glasswing butterfly live?

Greta oto has a lifespan of 6 - 12 weeks.

How do they reproduce?

Interesting facts about the glasswing butterfly are that this creature mates polygynously with males attempting to obtain one or more female mates during the mating season. Male butterflies form leks or large clusters in shady places of rainforests to attract and compete for females by releasing pheromones. This phenomenon is called lekking. The life-cycle of the larvae is as follows: Eggs are usually laid on the surface of plants of the genus Cestrum, which aids as a food source for later life stages. The glasswing butterfly caterpillar has a green body with bright purple and red bands. The caterpillar turns into larvae. The larvae are cylindrical in shape with projections that have filaments. These filaments make the larvae quite reflective, which helps them to be invisible to predators. The larvae then turn into pupae that are silver in color. The pupa produces a silk pad on the bottom of leaves with the help of four spinning movements, onto which it attaches during the fifth instar stage. The adult can be recognized by its clear wings with opaque, dark orange-brown borders stained with red or orange.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this being is Not Extinct. The following national parks are working on their conservation of glasswing butterflies: Costa Rica, Guanacaste National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Palo Verde National Park, Carara National Park, Poas Volcano National Park, La Selva Reserve, and Biological Station, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Irazu Volcano National Park, Chirripo National Park, and La Amistad International Park.

Glasswing Butterfly Fun Facts

What do glasswing butterflies look like?

Name a pretty insect with a wing, and if your beloved butterfly is the Monarch butterfly, you perhaps haven't heard of the Greta oto or the glasswing butterfly. These creatures have clear wings that look like glass, hence transparent wings. That's right, a butterfly with clear wings with colored borders that look like glass exists. This feature of wings helps them to protect themselves from predators as they become invisible to them when sitting on the surface of plants and flowers. The science behind the transparent wing is very simple. The wing hardly reflects natural light. Instead, most infrared to ultraviolet light travels straight through the fine tissue. The colors and patterns on the wings of other species of butterflies are a result of the reflection and scattering of light. So what makes a difference? It is all because of the nanostructure and scales that make the wings transparent.

Glasswing Butterfly

How cute are they?

As compared to Acanthovalva inconspicuaria, which is the ugliest butterfly, Greta oto is very beautiful and cute due to its transparent glass-like wings, which help them to hide from predators. The surface of the wings is covered with scales that do not reflect the natural light and make them clear as crystal. Having a creature with such a fragile body is a marvel of nature.

How do they communicate?

Adult butterflies communicate with each other mostly through chemical cues. The males produce chemicals called pheromones to attract the females. A few species communicate with sound, too. The male Cracker butterfly can make loud noises with its wings.

How big is a glasswing butterfly?

Greta oto butterfly is 1.1-1.2 in (2.8 to 3.3 cm) long as compared to fairy moth that is o.5 in (1.27 cm) long. That means the glasswing butterfly is two to three times bigger than the fairy flies.

How fast can a glasswing butterfly fly?

The glasswing is a strong species of butterfly. Although it might look delicate and fragile, it has the capability to carry 40 times its own weight. It is also very swift and has the ability to fly up to 8 mph (13 kph) for short periods of time. The skipper butterflies are considered to be the fastest butterfly.

How much does a glasswing butterfly weigh?

These are very delicate species of butterflies, therefore their weight is still not known, but they have the ability to carry 40 times more weight on their wings for shorter distances.

What are the male and female names of the species?

They do not have different names for male and female species. Both male and female butterflies are known as clearwing butterflies.

What would you call a baby glasswing butterfly?

Baby glasswing butterfly is called as larvae.

What do they eat?

Glasswing butterflies are omnivorous by nature. Two species of plant Cestrum are the host species for Greta oto. The butterfly also feeds upon the droppings from birds that eat insects. By doing this, they get essential amino acids into their diet. The adult butterfly mainly feeds on the nectar of the flowers of the genus Lantana. It includes 150 species of perennial flowering plants. They also consume flowers in the family of Astraceae and Boraginaceae.

Are they dangerous?

Although Greta oto is not dangerous to humans, however, adult butterflies can be toxic as males consume Asteraceae flowers. The nectar of this flower contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they would make good pets provided you provide favorable conditions for their survival.

Did you know...

One of the glasswing butterfly hoax is that it has a special 'blush' look to it. The pink glasswing butterfly can be found in the Amazon forests. They have clear wings at the top, which turn pink towards the bottom, and when the light passes through the wings, it makes a butterfly with matching blushing wings. Also known as the brush-footed butterflies, it has reduced forelegs used as sensory organs. They balance themselves on their hind four legs that are prominent and outstretched for stability.

The glasswing butterfly's environment

The glasswing butterfly is most commonly found in Central and South America, Chile, and also sighted in Mexico and Texas. This butterfly prefers to live in the conditions of the tropical forest and rainforests in Central and South America. The Greta oto wing is transparent. The tissue present between their veins looks like glass.  These clear wings make it difficult for predatory birds to prey upon them.

Are butterflies with transparent wings endangered?

No, they are not endangered but also not common all over the world. It is mostly found around Central America, extending up into areas of North America.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these lobster facts and crab facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable glasswing butterfly coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?