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Some Residents of the Butterfly Garden at the Detroit Zoo

The Butterfly Garden at the Detroit Zoo features butterflies from Costa Rica and El Salvador. Over the course of a year the zoo receives about 75 different species, and in 2005 it received a total of 11,916 butterflies. The difficulty in photographing them is that it's hard to get them to sit still for a portrait. Furthermore, the Zoo does not permit the use of tripods to avoid interfering with other visitors. Despite these obstacles, I have added more butterflies to this gallery since I began photographing in the Butterfly Garden in June, 2006.

I have learned that correct identification of butterflies can be extremely difficult. Fortunately, there are three individuals at the Zoo who have outstanding knowledge in this area. I wish to thank Ms. Laura Palombi, Mr. Michael Puppan, and Mr. Stefan Mantyk for their assistance in providing correct identification for a number of the butterflies in this gallery. Until recently Ms. Palombi was Associate Curator of Invertebrates; Mr. Puppan is the zookeeper for birds; and Mr. Mantyk is the Guest Relations Supervisor in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, which houses the Butterfly Garden. Their help is greatly appreciated. I have also benefited substantially from Jeffrey Glassberg's book, "A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of Mexico and Central America" (Princeton University Press, 2018) in providing correct identification to some of the butterflies in this gallery. Any remaining errors are of course mine.

Ms. Palombi has requested permission to use photographs in this gallery to develop a chart for use in the Butterfly Garden. With her assistance I have photographed a number of select butterflies shortly after they have emerged from their chrysalises since December, 2006. Therefore, the gallery contains some of the lesser known species obtained in this manner. Please note that all of the butterflies photographed in this gallery are live specimens.

As of January 24, 2007 when the Zoo project officially ended, this gallery contained 48 butterfly species and 116 butterfly photographs. The most common butterflies seen in the Butterfly Garden are the Common Blue Morpho, the Owl Butterfly, the Banded Purple Wing (Blue Wave), the Tiger Longwing, and the Grecian Shoemaker based on 2005 data. For the benefit of the viewer, profile (ventral or wings closed view) and overhead (dorsal or wings open view) photographs of the same species are placed next to each other and above each other in certain cases where feasible. Please note that I have continued my photography in the Butterfly Garden through 2018 and plan to go beyond then.

Finally, I would like to thank Pbase artist Sayer for very helpful discussions concerning techniques for photographing butterflies. His knowledge in this area has been invaluable. Also I wish to thank John Gerlach, who has made an important suggestion to me concerning the photography in this gallery. In addition, John and Barbara Gerlach's book, "Close Up Photography in Nature," contains a valuable chapter on "Special Photo Tehniques for Butterflies and Dragonflies," from which I have benefited greatly.

Please keep in mind that butterfly photography can be accomplished with or without flash. For particular reasons I have chosen to use a combination of flash and ambient (natural) light in making most of these images.

Please click on an image to see it in full screen size. Thanks for looking, and all comments are welcome.

Jay Levin
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Central American Monarch (female)
Central American Monarch (female)
Owl Butterfly
Owl Butterfly
Arcas Cattleheart (male)
Arcas Cattleheart (male)
Arcas Cattleheart (female)
Arcas Cattleheart (female)
Common Olive Wing
Common Olive Wing
Common Olivewing
Common Olivewing
Banded Purple Wing Or Blue Wave
Banded Purple Wing Or Blue Wave
Banded Purple Wing or Blue Wave
Banded Purple Wing or Blue Wave
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Heliconian or Tiger-striped Longwing
Tiger Heliconian or Tiger-striped Longwing
Gold Rim With Leaf
Gold Rim With Leaf
Pink-spotted Cattleheart
Pink-spotted Cattleheart
Pink-spotted Cattleheart
Pink-spotted Cattleheart
Small Postman
Small Postman
Mexican Bluewing (In Desperate Need Of A Bath)
Mexican Bluewing (In Desperate Need Of A Bath)
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Sara Heliconian
Sara Heliconian
Giant Swallowtail
Giant Swallowtail
Hewitson's Heliconian
Hewitson's Heliconian
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Mexican Heliconian
Mexican Heliconian
 Cream-spotted Tigerwing
Cream-spotted Tigerwing
Common Blue Morpho
Common Blue Morpho
Common Blue Morpho
Common Blue Morpho
Harmonia Tiger
Harmonia Tiger
Band Celled Sister  or Mexican Sister
Band Celled Sister or Mexican Sister
Doris Longwing (or Doris Butterfly or Rayed Longwing)
Doris Longwing (or Doris Butterfly or Rayed Longwing)
Doris Longwing (or Doris Butterfly or Rayed Longwing)
Doris Longwing (or Doris Butterfly or Rayed Longwing)
Gray Cracker
Gray Cracker
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Small Postman
Small Postman
White Morpho
White Morpho
Chrysalises
Chrysalises
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Red Cracker
Red Cracker
Malachite
Malachite
Variation of a Postman
Variation of a Postman
Banded Purple Wing Or Blue Wave
Banded Purple Wing Or Blue Wave
Small Postman (aka Crimson-patched Longwing)
Small Postman (aka Crimson-patched Longwing)
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Mexican Heliconian (aka Hortense Longwing or Mountain Longwing)
Ruby-spotted Swallowtail
Ruby-spotted Swallowtail
Ruby-Spotted Swallowtail
Ruby-Spotted Swallowtail
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Common Olivewing
Common Olivewing
Common Olivewing
Common Olivewing
Working On The Chrysalises
Working On The Chrysalises
Tiger-mimic Queen
Tiger-mimic Queen
Tiger-mimic Queen
Tiger-mimic Queen
Malachite On A Gallery Guide's Hair
Malachite On A Gallery Guide's Hair
Scarce Bambo Page
Scarce Bambo Page
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Red Cracker
Red Cracker
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Banded Purple Wing or Blue Wave
Banded Purple Wing or Blue Wave
Red Rim
Red Rim
Giant Swallowtail (Tentative Identification)
Giant Swallowtail (Tentative Identification)
Keeper Of The Chrysalises
Keeper Of The Chrysalises
Postman
Postman
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Zebra Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Grinning Heliconian (aka Blue and White Longwing or Cydno Longwing)
Broad-banded Swallowtail
Broad-banded Swallowtail
Thoas Swallowtail
Thoas Swallowtail
Thoas Swallowtail
Thoas Swallowtail
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Malachite
Malachite
Julia Longwing
Julia Longwing
Julia Longwing
Julia Longwing
Project
:: Project ::
Glasswing
Glasswing
Glasswing
Glasswing
Red Cracker
Red Cracker
Gray Cracker
Gray Cracker
Variable Cracker
Variable Cracker
White-Angled Sulphur
White-Angled Sulphur
Postman
Postman
Juno Longwing
Juno Longwing
Juno Longwing (aka Scarce Silver-spotted Flambeau)
Juno Longwing (aka Scarce Silver-spotted Flambeau)
Grecian Shoemaker (female)
Grecian Shoemaker (female)
Grecian Shoemaker (female)
Grecian Shoemaker (female)
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Grecian Shoemaker (male)
Grecian Shoemaker (male)
Grecian Shoemaker (male)
Grecian Shoemaker (male)
Arcas Cattleheart (male)
Arcas Cattleheart (male)
Giant Swallowtail
Giant Swallowtail
Orange-barred Sulphur
Orange-barred Sulphur
Crimson Patch
Crimson Patch
Crimson Patch
Crimson Patch
Varus Swallowtail
Varus Swallowtail
Varus Swallowtail
Varus Swallowtail
Ms. Laura Palombi, Associate Curator of Invertebrates at the Detroit Zoo
Ms. Laura Palombi, Associate Curator of Invertebrates at the Detroit Zoo
Orange-barred Sulphur
Orange-barred Sulphur
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Some Of The Gallery Guides At The Butterfly Garden
Some Of The Gallery Guides At The Butterfly Garden
Queen (or Queen Butterfly)
Queen (or Queen Butterfly)
Queen (or Queen Butterfly)
Queen (or Queen Butterfly)
Narva Patch
Narva Patch
Narva Patch
Narva Patch
Gaudy Patch
Gaudy Patch
Gaudy Patch
Gaudy Patch
Band Celled Sister (or Mexican Sister)
Band Celled Sister (or Mexican Sister)
Band Celled Sister (or Mexican Sister)
Band Celled Sister (or Mexican Sister)
Black Swallowtail (male)
Black Swallowtail (male)
Black Swallowtail (male)
Black Swallowtail (male)
Magnificent Swallowtail
Magnificent Swallowtail
Magnificent Swallowtail
Magnificent Swallowtail
Stephanie
Stephanie
Michael Puppan
Michael Puppan
Rusty-tipped Page
Rusty-tipped Page
Rusty-tipped Page
Rusty-tipped Page
Pale-spotted Swallowtail
Pale-spotted Swallowtail
Pale-spotted Swallowtail
Pale-spotted Swallowtail
Pale-spotted Swallowtail
Pale-spotted Swallowtail
End Of Butterfly Project
End Of Butterfly Project
Central American Monarch (female)
Central American Monarch (female)
Sapho Longwing
Sapho Longwing
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Malachite
Malachite
Owl Butterfly
Owl Butterfly
Julia Longwing
Julia Longwing
Scarlet Leafwing
Scarlet Leafwing
Scarlet Leafwing II
Scarlet Leafwing II
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Small Postman
Small Postman
The New Butterfly Identification Chart At The Detroit Zoo
The New Butterfly Identification Chart At The Detroit Zoo
Zebra Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Sappho Longwing
Sappho Longwing
Central American Monarch (female)
Central American Monarch (female)
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Orange Tiger (aka Banded Orange or Banded Orange Heliconian)
Sapho Longwing
Sapho Longwing
Tiger Leafwing
Tiger Leafwing
Julia Longwing
Julia Longwing
Common Blue Morpho
Common Blue Morpho
 Shoemaker Butterfly (or Feathered Prepona)
Shoemaker Butterfly (or Feathered Prepona)
Polydamas Swallowtail (or Gold Rim or Tailless Swallowtail)
Polydamas Swallowtail (or Gold Rim or Tailless Swallowtail)
Doris Longwing (or Doris Butterfly or Rayed Longwing)
Doris Longwing (or Doris Butterfly or Rayed Longwing)
Variable Tigerwing
Variable Tigerwing
Cream-spotted Tigerwing (tentative identification)
Cream-spotted Tigerwing (tentative identification)
Owl Butterfly
Owl Butterfly
Tiger Longwing
Tiger Longwing
Small Postman
Small Postman
Stefan Mantyk
Stefan Mantyk
Grecian Shoemaker (Female)
Grecian Shoemaker (Female)
Variable Tigerwing
Variable Tigerwing
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Pink Cattleheart or Transandean Cattleheart
Heart-spotted Heliconian
Heart-spotted Heliconian
Grecian Shoemaker (Female)
Grecian Shoemaker (Female)
Common Blue Morpho
Common Blue Morpho
Small Postman
Small Postman
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Sara Longwing or Small Blue Grecian
Small Postman
Small Postman
Julia Longwing on Water Drops
Julia Longwing on Water Drops
Julia Longwing on Water Drops
Julia Longwing on Water Drops
Montezuma's Cattleheart
Montezuma's Cattleheart
Orange Tiger
Orange Tiger
Tiger Heliconian or Tiger-Striped Longwing
Tiger Heliconian or Tiger-Striped Longwing
Heart-spotted Heliconian
Heart-spotted Heliconian
Hewitson's Heliconian
Hewitson's Heliconian
Arcas Cattleheart (male)
Arcas Cattleheart (male)
Another Hewitson's Heliconian
Another Hewitson's Heliconian
Grecian Shoemaker (female)
Grecian Shoemaker (female)
Glasswing
Glasswing
Thoas Swallowtail
Thoas Swallowtail
Marbled Leafwing
Marbled Leafwing
Malachite
Malachite
Rusty-tipped Page
Rusty-tipped Page
Another Marbled Leafwing
Another Marbled Leafwing
Torquatus Swallowtail
Torquatus Swallowtail