Blue Morpho Butterflies
Blue Morphos at The Butterfly House
The Blue Morpho butterfly is certainly one of the most beautiful butterflies at The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri.
There are always a lot of these butterflies in the conservatory at The Butterfly House , but in the month of March an additional 3000 Blue Morphos are released and the effect is amazing. Everywhere you look there are blue butterflies flying around.
As a volunteer at The Butterfly House I attended an educational session on the Morpho butterfly so that I would be able to give the guests more information. I found out some very interesting facts that I will share with you in this lens.
all photos taken by Mary Beth Granger at The Butterfly House
Characteristics of Morpho Butterflies - tropical butterflies from the "New World Tropics"
There are more than 80 different species of Morpho butterflies all of which have similar characteristics. The one thing they do not all have in common is the color blue. There are white morphos and also morphos that are gold, brown and reddish in color. Here are some of the common characteristics:
- Brush-footed butterflies with very small legs for their first pair.
- They have ears.
- They have hemispherical eggs
- They have eye spots on their back sides
- They have bright colors on their open sides
Blue Morpho's at The Butterfly House
Enjoy Blue Morpho at Home
Here are a few Blue Morpho items that I found online. The book looks to be a great introduction to butterflies for a child. I thought the other two items would be a great way to decorate with a butterfly theme.
Two types of Morphos at The Butterfly House
At The Butterfly House we have two types of morpho butterflies. The first is the Common Blue Morpho. It has a large expanse of blue on its wings with a black trim around the edges. This butterfly is native to Costa Rica where we purchase it from the El Bosque Nuevo butterfly farm.
This farm gives all of its profit to buying and preserving the rain forest. We are very proud to be part of this contribution to conservation efforts.
The second type of morpho found at The Butterfly House is the Achilles Morpho. This butterfly comes from Suriname on the northern coast of South America.
Morpho Butterflies have Eye Spots - dark colored back side
When the Morpho butterfly closes its wings you will see that they have eye spots on their back side. These eyespots serve to discourage predators from attacking. The contrast between the bright inside color and the dull back side may also surprise the predators and allow the butterflies to escape.
There is no evidence that the Morpho butterfly is distasteful and several bird species have been seen eating them.
Contrasting colors on Morpho Butterflies
This photo shows two Morphos on a leaf. You can get a glimpse of their blue color and see their dark side with their wings closed.
Blue Morphos feed on fruit - they do not feed on flowers
In their native land the Morphos live at ground level in the forest. Since the rainforest blocks most light to the ground there is no flower growth. Because of this lack of flowers the butterflies live on fallen fruit and tree sap. They sip this nourishment through their proboscis, which sometimes looks like a 7th leg.
In the butterfly house the morphos can be seen feeding on trays of cantaloupe, bananas and other fruit.
Morpho Mythology - how were morpho butterflies named
Here are a few interesting facts on the word "morpho".
>Morpho is from the Greek word for shape
>In mythology, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was sometimes given the name Morpho
>"Aphrodite Morpho" means "The Fair-Shaped"
information for this lens was put together from a seminar at The Butterfly House