"Eyespots" on the underside of a Blue Morpho's wings.
Blue Morpho Butterfly Caterpillar
There are almost
24,000 species of butterflies
the world. One of the prettiest types of butterflies are the Blue
Morpho butterflies. Not only is this beautiful butterfly one of the
most sought after by collectors, but also just looking at its metallic-like
wings is mesmerizing. While it appears that the Blue
Morpho butterfly’s wings are metallic blue, they aren’t – the color
is due to how the microscopic scales on the backs of their wings reflect
The underside of
the Blue Morpho’s wings are a dull brown with many different sized
‘eyespots.’ Eyespots serve as a defense mechanism against all sorts of
predators like insects and birds. If you get a chance to see a blue
morpho butterfly fly, you will notice that the contrasting brilliant blue of
the top wings against the dull brown of the underside of the wings almost make
it look like the butterfly is appearing and disappearing. This is one way that
the butterflies distract their predators.
One fun fact about
these beautiful butterflies is that they are some of the largest butterflies
in the world; their wingspan ranging from five to eight inches easily, which
in the butterfly world is huge.
Another cool thing
to know about these beautiful insects is the fact that Blue Morphos habitat is
the tropical forests of Latin America all the way from Mexico to Colombia and
the adult Blue Morpho’s usually spend their time on the forest floor or
tucked away in the lower shrubs and trees. This is usually where they
will rest, their wings folded upward so their brilliant blue is hidden away
and they are camouflaged from their predators.
The diet of the
Blue Morpho changes throughout their life. As a caterpillar, the Morpho,
as many other caterpillars, will chew on the leaves of plants. They
particularly like the plants of the pea family. When the caterpillar turns
into an adult, their diet changes drastically. The adult Blue Morpho’s
can no longer chew and instead they need to drink all of their meals.
Blue Morpho’s are one of the many butterflies that besides flower nectar
will make rotting fruit juices, the fluids from decomposing animals, fungi,
wet mud and tree sap part of their diet.
So as you can see,
these butterflies are not only beautiful to look at but they are very
interesting. If you ever get a chance to see these beautiful insects in
action, you should definitely take advantage of it and get some pictures.
These butterflies are something else and they deserve to be admired.