Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing: Wiki And Everything At One Place

Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing is one of the most attractive… Wait, did we say tiger? Yes. But are we actually referring to a tiger? Without a doubt, no. It’s a butterfly. Let’s learn more about a butterfly with a distinctive appearance that has tiger-like orange patches on its wings.  

All butterflies are beautiful, with unique & beautiful colors and patterns, but what makes this butterfly exceptional is not the color of its wings but who it resembles and why.

Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing: Wiki

Scientific name  Mechanitis polymnia 
Common name  Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing 
Size  They grow about 3-inches wide 
Habitat  Terrestrial 
Location  It is native to Mexico, Brazil, and beyond. 
Diet  The larvae feed on Solanum species 
Predators  Almost no predators 
Colors  Transparent white to brown 
Weight  Up to 24 pounds 
Life Span  1-10 years 
Price  Can be very expensive 
About it  Harmful to humans, has poisonous wings with bright orange color, etc. 

Butterfly of the Nymphalidae family, Mechanitis polymnia is also known as the Orange-spotted Tiger Clearwing or Disturbed Tigerwing. From Mexico to the Amazon rainforest, it lives in a wide terrestrial range. The wingspan is 2.6-3.0 inches, or 65-75 mm. 

What Do Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing Butterflies Eat?  

Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing
Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing | Credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson (commons.wikimedia) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The larvae eat plants in the Solanum genus. With almost 1,500 species, it is the biggest genus in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Solanum jamesii, Black Nightshade, etc. are a few examples of typical members of the genus.

What’s Special About The Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing?  

In addition to having a stunning and distinctive pattern, the chrysalises or cocoons of the special tiger clearwing butterflies resemble sparkling pieces of silver and gold jewelry, but they are actually formed of real substance. They do a fantastic job of reflecting light; it’s like looking in a mirror.  

The third stage of a young butterfly’s development, pupae, is confined to this shining golden chrysalis that they spin.  

Because of their brightness and texture, it appears that they are made of gold. Contrary to popular belief, they are not actually made of metal. Although they appear metallic, they are actually formed of chitin, a natural material that some insects and crustaceans possess and gives them their shiny appearance.

How Does The Disturbed Tigerwing Fool Predators?  

The cocoon stage of a butterfly’s life is the most fragile. The pupa is unable to protect itself because it is immobile. However, their appearance is the only thing that saves them. They have chrysalises that appear bright and metallic, which is supposed to protect the developing butterfly by deceiving possible predators.

It’s possible that the reflecting chrysalises resemble water drops on plants. Or perhaps their shine mimics their surroundings.   

The mirror effect is also sufficient to frighten away hungry creatures who come near. In order to find prey, birds, lizards, and other visual hunters like jumping spiders search local vegetation. Reflected movement (or the unexpected presence of their own reflected shape) would probably trigger a bail sequence in these animals.

Special – Save Yourself – Mechanism  

The wings of the common tiger butterfly are distasteful and toxic. Its striking orange color serves as a warning to predators, signaling its toxicity. The Tiger Clearwing pretends to be dead and stinks awful when it is caught. Its attacker lets go, and it flies off to live another day.


The Orange Spotted Tiger Clearwing, Mechanitis polymnia is a member of the Nymphalidae family. Their unique colored, black-spotted orange wings do exact justice to its common name. They are terrestrial little but tough creatures with unique abilities to deal with predators. Also, they have pretty distasteful and toxic wings.



Also Read: