Blue Morpho Butterfly Exhibit - A Photo Gallery
The Blue Morpho Butterfly - Wings Up Close
Blue Morpho Butterfly on Colorful Leaf
Information on the Blue Morpho Butterfly
Blue Morpho butterflies have been capturing the attention of people for a very long time. The metallic blue sheen is hard to ignore. You can see it in varying intensity of blues, including turquoise and aqua, etc. Some older butterflies have a more faded intensity, but they are still amazingly beautiful.
There were some Amazon tribes that used to believe that these butterflies were bits of the sky that had fallen to earth. When you look closer at the colors shown on their wings, you can see why they would say this.
What Accounts for the Blue Color in the Wings?
Most butterflies get their coloring to the pigments contained within the scales on their wings. They lay on top of each other, almost like shingles on a roof. With the blue morpho butterfly, it is different. The color you see is achieved by reflected light. In this case, the scales covering the wings have crevices and bumps that act as prisms. This refracts the the sunlight and gives off the electric blue sheen that you see.
Blue Showing Through - Blue Morpho Butterfly
Blue Morpho on Tree Trunk
Blue Morpho Butterflies - What is their Defense?
One of the defenses of the blue morpho butterfly is built right back into the bright blue color on the wings. For instance, if a predator comes along to try to eat the butterfly, he needs but open and close his wings a few times, and the brightness of the blue causes the predator to be startled enough to think twice about what is going on. This most often gives the butterfly enough time to achieve a quick get away! Sometimes, the extra few seconds is all it needs, and then the blue morpho can live to see another day perhaps.
For some other predators, the spots on the wings that look like eyes, are a kind of built in mechanism against predators. That and the fact the colors on the one side of the wings are a great camouflage in themselves.
You can see different varieties of blue morpho butterflies. Not all look exactly the same as you see on this page, as there is some variation. Their patterns and coloring help them to blend in with the light and shadows naturally found in a tropical rainforest setting.
Blue Morpho Butterflies with Tattered WingsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Possible Color Variations on Blue Morpho Butterflies
The female blue morpho butterflies can be covered in different colors of brown, yellow and orange, as well as the blue colors most often associated with them. Males are attracted to the different colors of the females, of course.
What Do Blue Morpho Butterflies like to eat?Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Diet of Blue Morpho Butterflies
Blue morpho butterflies likes different food at the different stages of its life. For instance, when a caterpillar, he eats the leaves of different plants. They do prefer the pea family however, to other leaves.
As a butterfly, the blue morpho uses its proboscis like other butterflies, but doesn't drink the nectar from flowers. It uses its proboscis to suck up different fluids like tree sap, rotting fruit, the liquids from decomposing animals, as well as wet mud.
The most creative display I have seen to date for blue morpho butterflies, was several bananas hanging in a circular fashion from a display. The peels were in place, but with slits cut in them or portions of the peel cut away. In the hot and humid environment they are in, causes them to begin to smell sweet and attracts the butterflies. I have also seen bananas or plantains cut in half an laid out for the butterflies. This mimics the fruit decomposing on the bottom of the tropical rain forest floor.
Blue Morpho Butterfly on Leaves
Blue Morpho Butterfly Exhibits
I have been to a few of these blue morpho butterfly exhibits, and I feel so fortunate for that. The place I have seen them the most, is in March at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield Missouri. If you are ever in the St. Louis area, in any moths but January, and if you like butterflies at all, this is a must see.
This particular exhibit in March is simply incredible. They have blue morphos that will take your breath away! They have a little quiz and fun things to do for the kids as well. If you pass the quiz, you get a little gift, and a discount in the neat gift shop there. You will learn a lot of things, like that that the blue morpho butterfly smells like vanilla!
Blue Morpho Butterfly on Purple Flowers
How To Get Blue Morpho Butterflies to Land on You
The idea of having a blue morpho butterfly alight on you, may sound strange to some people. However, it is not so strange to many of the people that come to butterfly exhibits. In fact, some will stand in place a long time in hopes that some might land on them. There are very explicit rules in place, to not touch the butterflies. However, this doesn't mean the butterflies can't touch you. This doesn't usually result in loss of their pigmented scales that can be brushed off by touching the wings.
So here is the best tip I have seen. Wear the same color of the butterfly, and in this case it is blue, or turquoise, or even some aqua green colors. The colors usually found in oceans works. They will be very attracted to you, if you do so. On the other hand, children that get scared of butterflies all around them, should maybe not wear that color.
Blue Morpho Butterflies on Various LeavesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Blue Morpho Butterfly on Red Flower
Blue Morpho Butterfly Poll
Have you ever seen a Blue Morpho Butterfly in person?
© 2014 Paula