The colorful butterflies remind us that change is worthful, and the result is always beautiful and fruitful if we patiently handle the change. Here in this article, discover one of the largest butterflies on the earth, the Morpho Butterfly.
The Blue Morpho Butterfly is a diurnal insect with three body parts head, thorax, abdomen, and six legs. The two antennae are used as sensors to sense their surroundings. Their wing's color is blue with black-colored edges and a brown-colored underside. Interestingly, their wings are in blue not because of the pigment but due to the microscopic scales present on the wings' back. Facts state that the blue morpho butterflies are rare. They act as a prism which means that when light falls on the wings, the color changes from bright blue to brown. This color-changing technique depends on the angle at which the light falls on their wings and protects them from active predators. When they land on any surface, these chemoreceptor creatures are experts in identifying whether it is a food source or not.
The Blue Morpho, which belongs to the Nymphalidae family, is an insect. This giant butterfly has iridescent blue wings, which add extra beauty to this tremendous fabulous butterfly Morpho. The male Morpho species are sensitive to UV light.
This Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides kollar) belongs to the Insecta class.
The exact number of Morpho Butterflies in the world is not known. It is one of the rarest butterflies seen more prominently in South America.
These butterflies live in tropical forests, and they breed in dry deciduous woodlands and secondary forests. They are found in primary forests of the Amazon and Atlantic and have spread in the neotropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.
Adult butterflies fly on the forest floor, on small plants and shrubs. Deciduous woodlands experience rich rainfall has fertile soil and a favorable environment for varieties of birds and insects to survive. The vast vegetation is developed in this region, which gives a favorable environment for the caterpillars to survive.
These Blue Morpho butterflies live independently but are found in groups while mating or while consuming food without creating any ruckus. However, the caterpillars are considered social because they are found in small groups.
The caterpillars that eventually develop into Blue Morpho Butterflies live only for 115 days which is a very short period. The whole process from egg to death is called the life cycle.
Butterflies live till the stage of reproduction. Due to the chemical releasing technique, the male butterflies attract female butterflies. During this process, the male butterfly passes its sperm to the female. The sperm fertilizes the eggs which are in its egg-laying tube.
Once the eggs are fertilized, the female butterfly lays only a single egg underside of the leaves. This egg will change its color to safeguard it from predators. This egg will hatch for 9-12 days to develop into a larva. The larva is a caterpillar that undergoes tremendous changes in five instars. In this stage, the caterpillars develop hair on their body which can irritate the predators.
Later the larva enters into the pupa stage, also called a chrysalis. This larva will attach to the big leaves for approximately two weeks. The pupa stage is the crucial and essential stage for significant changes. In this stage, parts such as eyes, legs, and wings start to develop.
The final stage is an adult stage, where the insect will have long legs, antenna, and completely from a butterfly. In this stage, they can fly.
All these four stages of development are called metamorphosis.
The conservation status of Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides kollar) is Not Evaluated. Due to deforestation and human threats, the Blue Morpho may enter the Endangered list in the near future.
These Blue Morphos look amazing when they are flying in dense forests. The Morpho wings are brown on the underside and have numerous eyespots. When they close their wings, these eyespots help safeguard them from predators like birds and insects. The wings of the male butterflies are larger than female. We can find them widely in forests soaking under the sun. Their wings are covered with scales.
Butterflies themselves are beautiful flying creatures. Morpho butterflies are attractive and cute insects. Their scintillating colorful wings and their style of fluttering in the air adds cuteness to their looks. It is pretty amazing to see these butterflies when watched from near.
The adult male Blue Morphos releases a chemical called pheromones to attract the females. In some cases, they flap and flutter their wings to produce sounds. Their bright blue colored wings help in communicating even from long distances.
The Morpho Butterfly is one of the largest among all butterfly species in the world. The wingspan of this Blue Morpho Butterfly measures up to 8 in (20 cm). Its size is fifteen times bigger than the Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly, whose wingspan is just 0.5 in (1.3 cm).
Because of their large wingspan, they fly moderately in bouncing mode. However, its flashlight technology quickly changes its color of the wings blue to brown and brown to blue and makes the predators divert their track.
The Blue Morphos' average weight is around 0.004-0.006 lb (2-3 g).
Males are called male Morpho butterflies, whereas females are named female Morphos. It is easy to identify the male and female Morpho species. The difference in wings color differentiates the males from females. Males species have blue-colored wings, whereas females have a brown or yellow or pale blue color.
The baby butterfly is called a larva. They are tiny in size without wings. This larva is also called a caterpillar when it is in the feeding stage, and its main job is to eat.
Morpho Butterflies are herbivores. Unlike other butterflies, they don't eat their food; they drink the juices of tree sap, fungi, fermented fruits. They have long proboscis, straw-like mouthpieces, which help to drink the food.
The Blue Morpho caterpillars rely on the pea family plants' leaves, and these plants have poisonous substances. The Blue Morpho accumulates this poisonous substance throughout its life cycle, but this poison doesn't cause any harm to these species.
Eating these butterflies may be poisonous to some predators, so they may be considered harmful to their predators.
So if any person is interested in having this Blue Morphos as a pet, it is not a bad idea. However, keeping them merely in a jar is not sufficient; providing the proper environment is essential. As their life span is significantly lower, they need to be provided with proper space, mainly an open area filled with different plant varieties so that they can thrive.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Though they don't feed on nectar like other butterflies, they help in pollination.
Though they are named Blue Morphos, their wings are not actually in blue color. When light falls on its wings, they turn blue.
If anyone disturbs this Blue Morpho, they release a stinky fluid that is awful to smell.
The native Amazon tribes consider this species evil spirits because of its poisonous nature.
In some cases, there are butterflies of these species which are neither male nor female. Their wings are partially blue and partially brown—such types of butterflies called gynandromorphs.
The wings of these beautiful, attractive creatures are often used as jewelry and decorative items.
Male Blue Morphos start searching for their food early in the mornings compared to female butterflies, and the latter will engage in activities a bit later.
They are visible to the pilots flying on greater heights because of their vibrant and iridescent wings.
Yes, Morpho Butterflies are a poisonous species. These Blue Morpho caterpillars turn into adult Morphos and during their life cycle, they accumulate poisonous liquid, which they further use to protect themselves as shields from other predators like birds and insects.
These Morpho Butterflies come under the Marpho genus, which has 29 different species and 147 subspecies. Different species are found in different places; the most known places are South America, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru. They have the same body structure, but they differ in their color. The Morphos are found in metallic colors, green, and even white colors.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Morpho Butterfly coloring pages.