Butterfly eyespot

Have you ever seen a butterfly with coloring on its wing that looks like an eye and wondered why the butterfly looked like that? I have. The obvious answer is that is it a defense mechanism, intended to make potential predators question whether it is really a butterfly they are seeing or something larger that may want to make the predator the prey. This is a large part of the function of the eyespot, but it is also believed to play a role in courtship as well. If you want to know more, you can read all about the evolutionary significance of eyespots in butterflies here. Anyway, the photo of this butterfly was taken at the Mexico City Zoo.

Butterfly with a large eyespot on the trunk of a tree