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(Giant) Owl, or Pale Owl Butterfly

Caligo telamonius memnon


Butterflies in the genus Caligo are commonly called owl butterflies, after their huge eyespots, which resemble owls' eyes. Owl butterflies are very large, 65–200 mm (2.6–7.9 in), and fly only a few metres at a time, so avian predators have little difficulty in following them to their settling place.


They are found in the rainforests and secondary forests of Mexico, Central, and South America. The butterflies preferentially fly in dusk, when few avian predators are around. The Latin name may possibly refer to their active periods. Caligo means darkness.

1 Species ID Suggestions

bayucca 9 years ago
Pale Owl-Butterfly
Caligo telamonius memnon Caligo telamonius memnon (C. Felder & R. Felder, 1867)

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ColinMacleod 9 years ago

Thanks! And updated. It was an amazing specimen - I'd never seen a butterfly so big before.

bayucca 9 years ago

Your ID is correct, the actual name today is Caligo telamonius memnon.

Spotted by

Cancún, Mexico

Spotted on Jan 1, 2012
Submitted on Feb 1, 2012

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