Beautiful Tropical Butterflies Take Flight in Slow Motion

Adrian Smith of Ant Lab captured the fascinating mechanics of various tropical butterflies in flight using footage shot at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences during the Living Conservatory exhibit. Smith not only filmed how these beautiful creatures fly, but how they emerged from their respective cocoons, all shot at 1,300 fps.

As in previous videos, each butterfly perched on a white surface and took off, extending wings before lifting a little body into the air or, as in the case of the Blue Morpho butterfly, lifting two bodies into the air.

Mating morphos taking flight, the female appears to be the one doing all of the heavy lifting!

Here’s the video for the museum’s Living Conservatory Exhibit.