Caligo oileus

Oileus Owl

Basic Information

General information

Family: “Nymphalidae”
Sub Family: “Morphinae”
Estimated Lifespan 14 Days

Garden Specific Information

Estimated Number In Flight: 0
Total Number of Pupae Received: 574
First Flown On: 12/07/07
Last Flown On: 04/26/24

Species Range:

  • “NorthAmerica” “SouthAmerica”

Host plants:

  • Heliconia
  • Musa

Food Source

Oileus Owls are not typically nectar feeders but prefer rotting fruit.


This butterfly can be found in tropical forest habitats.

Life history

The Owl Butterflies do the majority of their flying during dawn and dusk. In the evening the males patrol for receptive females. Mated females lay their eggs individually or in groups. The caterpillars are very gregarious and usually feed in groups on the host plants.


Because of the long lifespan of the adult and the multiple generations each year it is possible to find adults throughout most of the year.

Fun Facts

As caterpillars the Owl Butterflies can eat a large amount of host plant leaves. Since one of their host plants is the banana plant the Owl Butterfly is considered a pest in areas where bananas are grown. They are such a big pest that work is being done with parasitic wasps to find a biological control agent.