Mariposa Butterfly Tours
Butterfly photography is our passion, and we want to share it with you! Whether you're looking for rarely-seen Amazonian hairstreaks, enigmatic Andean metalmarks, or clouds of sulphurs and swallowtails on tropical river banks, we'll take you there. We specialize in South America - the continent with the greatest diversity of butterflies - and no one can show you more butterflies there than us!
Back in Business!
It's been over a year since I finished an Argentina tour in February 2020 with little thought that it would be my last tour for... 18 months, or so! But Covid-related restrictions are gradually lifting, and I'm confident that I'll be able to run tours again starting later this year. So although I did enjoy Canadian butterflies like this Satyrium acadica last year, I can't wait to get back to South America starting in September 2021 - see my tours page for my plans!
Starting in 2018, and carrying on through 2019, I'm starting to run a lot more tours in South America's biggest country - Brazil! I'm still working on my Portugese, but the variety of butterflies is astounding me already. In 2018 I visited the Pantanal and Amazon, while early in 2019 I've seriously gotten into the beauties of the Atlantic Rainforest like this Mimoniades montana. Keep an eye on my tours page for more upcoming Brazil trips - I'm excited to show you my new butterfly friends! Check out the highlights from my first Atlatnic Forest tour here, or download the trip list by following the link to the right.
Barbicornis and other beauties!
In January 2018, I spent three weeks butterflying in Argentina - and had a great time, especially in Misiones, the Atlantic Rainforest in the country's northeast. For once, I allowed myself a true target species - Barbicornis basilis - and we saw several of them, but there were PLENTY of other wondreful butterflies too - Evenus latreilii, Thespieus jora, Myscelia orsis... see my trip highlights on flickr, and watch the tours page for opportunities to join me there in the future - it's a very nice alternative to all the Andean trips I've done in the past!
Amazon Lowlands - Finally!
After spending most of my first 6 years of butterflying in the Andes, I finally got to spend some serious time in the Amazon lowlands in September and October 2017 - it was NOT a disappointment! Our trip list after 18 days at Lago Soledad was an amazing 680 species, all within a few kilometres of the lodge. The highlight was surely the 10 species of Calydna metalmarks, but there were of course many other notable finds, including nearly 100 species of hairstreaks. I'll certainly be offering tours here in the future - I can't wait to go back! See my trip highlights on flickr.
I love remote!
As part of my Central Peru tour in October 2016, the group bravely agreed to explore the remote - and never-visited by butterfliers! - El Paujil Research Station in the foothills of E Peru. Getting there was quite an adventure, as expected - it required a 3-hour drive from the nearest major town, then a 2-hour boat trip, followed by another 2 hours walking. To finally reach the station, I had to swim across a beautiful creek to bring a boat across for the group! The butterflying was incredible although we only had two days to enjoy it - a particular highlight was no less than 19 species of Euselasia! If you're up for a challenge, it's available as part of my Central Peru trips for intrepid butterfly photographers looking for a low-cost trip with spectacular butterflying - see a flickr album of what we found last October here.
In November 2016, I spent 16 days on the Manu Road based at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge the whole time. You might think we would run out of butterflies to look for after more than two weeks, but we were still adding to our list until the very end. Our total? Initially, we identified 860 species, and that number is creeping closer to 900 as the group and I continue to sort through our thousands of photographs! Has any trip ever seen so many species while based at a single lodge? I doubt it! See my trip highlights on flickr, and find the link to our trip list at right.
"If you want to chase butterflies in South America, you can’t go wrong with David! All my trip participants love him..."
"I've been on several of David's tours, with several more in the works... Highly recommended for anyone who wishes to photograph butterflies in the South American tropics!"