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Costa Rica’s Buggy World of Insects
Costa Rica offers a breeding ground of diversity in the insect world. The rain forests are the home to countless ants, bees, butterflies, moths, termites and other tropical insects. One of the smallest species of bugs is the hummingbird flower mite, which is, barely half a millimeter long, as it hitches a ride from blossom to blossom inside the nostrils of hummingbirds. There are more than 1,250 species of butterfly found in Costa Rica, which is more than the entire United States that has around 750 species. The world’s largest butterfly sits stationary in La Paz Waterfall Garden. The butterfly is gigantic; you will have no problem in getting pictures of it.
The best time to see real butterflies is early in the morning when all species are active. The butterfly population is the densest during the months of June and July, matching the onset of the rainy season on the Pacific side of the country. Seriously, Costa Rica is a lepidopterist’s paradise and is the home to approximately ten percent of the world’s total identified species. Some butterflies are elaborately colored to keep safe from predators, while others are dazzling with color for sexual connotations. Some color variations tell birds that they will taste unpleasant, so the birds avoid them. They even use color as disguise so that at rest as they intermingle in with the foliage or look like the bark of a tree so predators would not see them.
Costa Rica is about the same size as the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Costa Rica is very close to the United States which makes it the one of the most visited Eco-Tourism destinations and also a favorite for Entomology studies.