Spirogyra Butterfly Exhibit, Costa Rica

If you're flying into Costa Rica, it's a high likelihood that you're landing in San Jose, which can be a bit of an overwhelming city. For many visitors, they often just want to take the quickest bus, taxi or rental car out of the snarled traffic and hit some open road to the myriad beaches and forests that the country has to offer (can't blame you!). But if you aren't in a rush to your next destination, however, then I'd encourage you to take a half hour walk through the Spirogyra Butterly Garden in downtown San Jose.

How many of us as kids would see flitting butterflies in the summer months and try to catch them with our hands? C'mon! I know I'm not the only one! Their sheer beauty, their lightness on the wind, the bright colors were enough for anyone to want to just have a closer look. This is part of the reason why I love butterfly gardens; it's really one time where you can have a far closer look at everyone's favorite insect. Here are some quick shots I took during my visit to Spirogyra. (And don't worry, there are more great insect shots to come in some of my subsequent posts throughout Costa Rica). 

 A monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus ) takes a rest from flying.

A monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) takes a rest from flying.

 Close-up on a male monarch butterfly's wings ( Danaus plexippus ). You can tell this is a male, but the pheromone packets on the backs of the butterfly's wings.

Close-up on a male monarch butterfly's wings (Danaus plexippus). You can tell this is a male, but the pheromone packets on the backs of the butterfly's wings.

 A black and yellow treehopper ( Membracis mexicana ) also found refuge at the Spirogyra Butterfly Exhibit. 

A black and yellow treehopper (Membracis mexicana) also found refuge at the Spirogyra Butterfly Exhibit. 

 A monarch emerges from its chrysalis. 

A monarch emerges from its chrysalis. 

 Simple Checkerspot butterflies ( Chlosyne hippodrome ) emerging from chrysalis. 

Simple Checkerspot butterflies (Chlosyne hippodrome) emerging from chrysalis. 

 A Green Malachite butterfly ( Siproeta stelenes ) peeks over the edge of a leaf at the Spirogyra butterfly exhibit. 

A Green Malachite butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) peeks over the edge of a leaf at the Spirogyra butterfly exhibit. 

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 This Common Mormon ( Papilio polytes ), which I had trouble catching mid-flight, was busily laying eggs (those are the dots on the leaves you see) on its host plant.

This Common Mormon (Papilio polytes), which I had trouble catching mid-flight, was busily laying eggs (those are the dots on the leaves you see) on its host plant.

 Close up on a Common Mormon ( Papilio polytes ).

Close up on a Common Mormon (Papilio polytes).

 The eyespots on the  Caligo eurilochus sulanus or  Giant Forest Owl butterfly is one of my favorite butterfly characteristics to photograph up close. 

The eyespots on the Caligo eurilochus sulanus or Giant Forest Owl butterfly is one of my favorite butterfly characteristics to photograph up close.