What does the number 88 printed on the wings of this butterfly mean?

There are about 165,000 species of butterflies in the world. Of all of them, this is one of the easiest to recognize because of the number 88 that appears on its wings. It is also known for this reason as Mariposa 88.

No. This spectacular butterfly does not belong to any sports team. It is not a uniform, nor is it some strange genetic experiment carried out under a microscope and at the whim of a scientist. The 88 butterfly is a fantastic creation of nature, a morphological coincidence tattooed on the wings of this curious insect that has always fascinated photographers and entomologists.

Nature and her artisan fingers sometimes weave true wonders. We already know the suggestive colors and shapes that some butterflies have, but when we suddenly come across a specimen that carries nothing more and nothing less than a couple of numbers on its wings, we are surprised. It can’t be, we tell ourselves. But that’s right… this Lepidoptera Diaethia clymena, better known as the Butterfly 88, has this number perfectly printed on its skin. Is she maybe a secret agent, playing in a national team of forests and grasslands with other insects?

The butterfly 88 and sometimes… 89

There are many studies that have been done around this beautiful butterfly that we can see both in Mexico and in Peru, Argentina, Brazil or Guatemala. It is a genetic pattern of this species of the Nymphaliade family, which gives it this number on its wings. But there is even more: this genetic peculiarity can sometimes lead to 89.

It is not very big, about 30 millimeters, but in many countries finding this beautiful insect is a sign of good fortune. The number 8 is associated with good luck in many cultures, it is the symbol of infinity, so seeing this number doubled and in the attractive wings of a butterfly is, without a doubt, a gift to our senses and our future.


Source: Diario Ecologia by diarioecologia.com.

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