We had a chance recently to visit the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and get a closer look at many of the insects that live in Costa Rica. In the above photo, naturalist Caley Zazula holds a Hercules beetle. Be careful not to get your finger caught in his pincers, the same strength that allows him to lift 850 times his body weight will also give you a pinch.
Below, naturalist Sarah Kelehear holds a butterfly with distinctive owl spots. The top right photo is a dung beetle, also a powerhouse insect. Some types of dung beetles can roll dung balls up to 50 times their weight. The bottom right photos is an ironclad beetle, whose hard exoskeleton makes pinning it for an insect collection impossible without a small drill.
The garden’s butterfly areas feature different habitats from the hot lowlands, to the shady areas of the forest where many glass-winged butterflies make their home.