Owl Butterflies on Tobago

I stumbled across this owl butterfly by accident, on the first day of my Great T&T Snake Hunt near Speyside in Tobago.   I was walking with my guide off the trail in a cocoa plantation when something seriously big made its way through the air past us and landed somewhere out of sight about 20 meters away from us.   We found it in an awkward and obscured position in a ditch.   I took one or two photos, then it flew off again, moving another 20 or 25 meters, landing as you see it here, in full view on a small tree.

owl butterfly in its entirety hanging onto a tree trunk

closeup of the owl butterfly's wing and body

Here it seemed content to rest as I slowly creeped up on it and started taking photos. 

As you can see, its colors are nothing special, but its patterns and its sheer size (about 4 inches) make it really stand out.

In fact, the closer you get the better it looks.   Just take a look of those crazily patterned eyes!

closeup of the Owl Butterfly's head and body

After ten minutes I had all the photos I wanted, and I made my way down to where my guide was sitting on a log.

That's when I noticed another Owl Butterfly, halfway between where the one above had first landed and where it had ended, and only three meters from the guide!

I can only assume that this Owl Butterfly was a female whose pheremones had attracted the other one.

another Owl Butterfly

closeup of eye spot

Here's a closeup of that "eye spot".