Blue Morpho Butterfly Facts, Scientific name Blue Morpho Butterfly is Morpho menelaus. A Blue Morpho Butterfly is a herbivore, Meaning that as a caterpillar its first food is its own eggshell and than it will eat the leaves of the plant on which it is hatched. When it becomes a butterfly, it will feed mostly on nectar from flowers, rotting fruit and water with a "proboscis" - a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw. All in Butterflys in the same family (Menelaus Blue Morpho) Morpho peleides (Peleides Blue Morpho) Morpho rhetenor
The Blue Morpho is one of several species of bright blue butterflies. They are part of the Morpho genus, Nymphalidae family and Lepidoptera order.
The term Blue Morpho can refer to the Menelaus Blue Morpho (Morpho Menelaus), Peleides Blue Morpho (Morpho Peleides) or Rhetenor Blue Morpho (Morpho Rhetenor).
The Common Blue Morpho Butterfly, species name Morpho peleides, is also called the Emperor, the Blue Morpho and Peleides Blue Morpho. The Blue Morpho Butterfly is one of the largest butterflies in the world, with a seven to eight inch (17.8 to 20.7 cm) wingspan. The Blue Morpho Butterfly bright blue wings generate their color due to thousands of tiny scales. The wings are flashed quickly to frighten away predators. Hence the Blue Morpho Butterfly wings are not actually colored blue but look that way. The underside of the wings is brown, and the drab color helps them blend in when the wings are folded against the body or when the Blue Morpho Butterfly are at rest. The Blue Morpho Butterfly also have bronze colored spots on their wings that look like eyes, potentially scaring off predators. The Blue Morpho Butterfly also preferring to stay in groups to deter predators.
The Common Blue Morpho Butterfly is an iridescent butterfly found in Mexico, Central America and northern South America. The Blue Morpho Butterfly do not live in the Neartic biome region defined by the Isthmus of Panama.
Blue Morpho Butterfly comes in four stages, egg, larva "caterpillars", pupa "chrysalis" and adult Butterfly.
A Blue Morpho Butterfly will attach its eggs to leaves with a special glue.
When caterpillars become fully grown they will attach to an appropriate leaf or small branch, than they will shed the outside layer of their skin and a hard skin underneath known as a "chrysalis" will be their new look
An adult butterfly will come out from the "chrysalis" than it waits a few hours for its wings to dry and fill with blood, before it takes its first flight.
The Morpho peleides has a very short lifecycle, just 115 days from egg to adulthood to death. After the Blue Morpho pupates, it loses the ability to eat and instead can only drink.
These butterflies have a broad diet. Their eggs are laid on plants in the Leguminosae family, Lonchocarpus, Medicago satvia, Bignonicaeae, ithecellbium and others. Their caterpillars are known to be cannibalistic if no other food is available. The larva are beige with green patches. The Menelaus morpho has several sub-species, and for some of these, the caterpillars may have yellow patches. The caterpillars in the Blue morpho family prefer the leaves of plants in the pea family.
The Blue Morpho Butterfly can see yellow, green, and red. An adult Blue Morpho Butterfly average life span is from a week to a year
The top flight speed of a Blue Morpho Butterfly is 12 miles per hour and some moths can fly up to 25 miles per hour.
A Blue Morpho Butterfly is cold-blooded, which means the body temperature is not regulated on its own. A Blue Morpho Butterfly can't fly or eat if their body temperature is below 82 degrees fah (28 cel). Blue Morpho Butterfly's are often basking in the sun with their wings open to gain heat and than the veins in the wings carry the heat to the body.
The Blue Morpho Butterfly is a true insect, with a proboscis, a long protruding mouth part used to suck its food. The adults drink the juice of many rotted fruits, especially rooted fruit like the lychee, kiwi and mango. Drinking the rotted fruit can make them drunk; the drunk Blue Morpho Butterfly wobbles in flight. The Blue Morpho Butterfly also drink nectar, the juices of dead animals and some fungi. The rapid flashing of their bright blue wings and the brown underside can make them hard to find, since it looks like they are disappearing and reappearing.
The adults of the Blue Morpho Butterfly species spends most of its time within 16 feet (five meters) of the forest floor. The Blue Morpho Butterfly will sometimes chase mates to all levels of the forest. Males are larger and more brightly colored than the females.
The Blue Morpho Butterfly are not listed with a conservation status with the IUCN. The Blue Morpho Butterfly is sought by collectors, but its greatest predators are the flycatcher and jacamar.
The Rhetenor Blue Morpho is found in the Amazon basin. It is distinguishable from other Blue Morpho Butterfly by its more concave forewing.
A Blue Morpho Butterfly has three pairs of legs and their feet have little claws that help them stand on flowers. The Blue Morpho Butterfly's wings are made up of hard tubes that are covered with a thin tissue. The Blue Morpho Butterfly's wings are covered with fine dusty like scales. A Butterfly has four brightly colored wings having distinctive patterns made up of tiny scales. The bright patterns scales sometimes have hidden ultraviolet patterns for attracting mates. The bright colors are also used as camouflage to hide them or scare off predictors.
A Blue Morpho Butterfly has sense organ, on their feet or tarsi, for tasting
The estimate is between 15000 and 20000 different species of butterfly.
A Blue Morpho Butterfly has a small body, made up of three parts – the head, abdomen and thorax. A Blue Morpho Butterfly has two large eyes, which are made up of many small parts which are called "compound eyes".
A Blue Morpho Butterfly has two antenna's on the top of their heads, which they use to smell, hear and feel. A Blue Morpho Butterfly’s mouth is a long tube a "proboscis" - a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw when its done eating, it rolls the tube back up.