Butterflies in Costa Rica

Butterflies in Costa Rica

When a butterfly flies by, most people do stop for a moment to follow it with their eyes. They often have beautiful colors and the large soft wings compared to the small body make them look almost cuddly. In Costa Rica there are more than 1200 species of butterflies and of course we are very curious about the species that occur in the reservation of Adopt Rainforest.

In recent years we have had visits from a number of butterfly experts (Also called the Butterfly Harriers), who went for an internship or as a volunteer to look at the different butterfly species that occur in the reserve, at the research center and in the nearby village of San Miguel. So by early 2020 there was a nice list of species but seen over a number of short periods. Because of the Corona, the project was empty and we had no visitors for a longer period. For Hanneke a reason to get more involved in the butterflies, and before she knew it she had caught the butterfly fever. From January 2020 until now, so August 2022, she has caught an average of one new species of butterfly per week. That’s what makes this sport so much fun. And there are beautiful specimens, see the pictures below. Sometimes the species are difficult to distinguish from each other, but often you immediately see: ‘Yes! This one is new! We are now at 239 different butterfly species, so we are not finished yet. Every trip to the beautiful reserve of Adopt Rainforest can bring new surprises.

Introducing: Hanneke Ligtenberg

Hanneke has been involved in the research project in Costa Rica from the start. She moved to Costa Rica with her husband Maarten (founder of the foundation) and her two sons Abel (8) and Luuk (6) in 2017. There, they passionately run the research project. By now they have already supervised more than a hundred students and run several research projects.

Want to know which butterfly species have all been determined? Take a look at our species list: Species List

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