Butterflies are among the beautiful creature that comes in all different sizes and colors. With many distinctive species of butterfly, the blue morpho butterfly is a well-known species. The most noticeable feature in these butterflies is their wings. Blue Morpho butterflies have multiple unique characteristics that attract many butterfly lovers and researchers.
What does a blue morpho butterfly look like?
Despite their name blue morpho, these butterflies are not blue. They are known for a metallic blue color, but it does not come from the pigmentation in their wings. Instead, the color is the reflection of light that covers the arms. And because of the reflective property, it makes the vivid blue appear shimmering. However, females are much less colorful than males. The upper side of this butterfly is blue with black edges, whereas the underneath of the wings is brown colored.
Where does the blue morpho butterfly live?
Blue morphos are habitat in tropical forests of Central and South America. Their distribution includes America, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Columbia. They prefer to live in a rainforest, but sometimes they survive in a sunny climate to warm themselves. The pilots flying over the rainforests have observed large groups of blue morphos above the treetops, warming themselves in the sun. However, when searching for mates, they will fly through all the layers of the forests.
How many species of blue morph butterflies are there?
The blue morpho butterfly has 29 species and around 147 sub-species.
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What is the size of the blue morpho butterfly?
Blue Morpho butterfly is a giant in the butterfly world. It is one of the world’s most abundant species, with the largest wingspan of 5 to 8 inches. In contrast, the smallest butterfly is the western pygmy blue that has a wingspan of half an inch. However, the world’s most giant butterfly is the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing that has a wingspan of 10 to 12 inches.
What do blue morpho butterflies eat?
The blue morpho butterfly diet changes through each stage of lifecycle. As a caterpillar, it chew leaves of many varieties but sometimes prefers to feed on plants of the pea species. When it grows as a butterfly, it can no longer eat but drinks its food instead. While adults use a long, stick out mouthpart called a proboscis as a drinking straw to sip the juice of rotting fruits, juice of decomposing animals, tree drain, fungi, and wet mud. Blue morphos eat fruit with sensors on their legs, and they smell the air with their antenna, which serves as a combined tongue and nose.
Blue Morpho Butterfly Lifecycle:
The blue morpho butterfly go through the following stages-
The mature larvae are red-brown with bright green spots and are covered with bristles. As an evolutionary adaptation, these beautiful hairy growths release an irritant upon contact to ward off predators. The egg of the butterfly is laid so that the caterpillars may feed as soon as they hatch.
The blue morpho evolution is bright green with the shape of a small conch shell hanging from the branches of the host plant. The cocoon’s green coloration is an adaptation to help to camouflage in the rainforest during this stage.
When their wings get opened, the dorsal sides of the forewings and the hind wings display a bright, blue coloration edge with black. When wings are closed, the ventral sides have a brown coloration patterned with eyespots, with two in the primary and three in the secondary arms, running through the center of both the sides parallel to the edges. However, males have brighter wings than females.
The eggs are tiny, pale green shaped like dewdrops, laid on the underside of the host plants leaves one at a time.
Blue Morpho Butterfly Fun Facts:
- The blue morpho butterfly scientific name is Morpho Menelaus.
- The blue color of the blue morpho wings is formed because of the light reflection.
- The brown color of the morpho butterflies wings aid as a disguise.
- The morpho butterflies’ dual coloration helps them to twinkle out.
- Their coloration is so bright that it can be observed from a plane.
- The blue morpho butterflies drink fluids and not nectar.
- These butterflies can taste with their feet.
- They can sleep at night.
- The caterpillars of morpho butterflies have stinging hairs.
- Both the forms of morpho butterfly- adult and caterpillar can expel rotten fluid.
- The morpho caterpillars can be beast on occasion.
- These butterflies can be poisonous to eat.
- Native amazon tribes believe that morpho butterflies have great importance.
- The egg of a morpho butterfly can change color to protect itself.
- These butterflies can feed on decomposing animals.
How long do blue morpho butterflies live?
The blue morpho butterflies can survive for an average of 115 days.
Are blue morpho butterflies endangered?
Blue morphos are threatened by deforestation of tropical forests and habitat fragmentation. Humans provide a primary threat to this specular creature as their beauty attracts artists and collectors from all over the world who wish to capture them. Besides humans, birds like flycatchers and jacamar are the adult butterfly’s natural predators.
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