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Published on Jan 18, 2015
All butterflies were released back into the wild after filming and were unharmed. This is a demonstration of how easy it is to catch toxic butterflies by hand. It is better to hold butterflies by the fore-wing where there is a strong wing vein. I am catching butterflies in the Altinote genus from the road in Ecuador. The Altinote butterflies are particularly easy to catch. If you watch closely you will notice some butterflies are will fly away as I pick up Altinotes and others do not. The butterflies who do not fly away may be better defended chemically. Altinote butterflies synthesize their own cyanogenic glycosides. This makes them toxic and less susceptible to predation, it also means they are easy to catch by hand because they don't expect to be eaten.