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Blue Morpho

Blue Morpho
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot SX110IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Guatemala & Belize
Theme(s): Butterflies & Moths [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-30 7:59
Viewed: 5598
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Blue Morpho Butterfly
Morpho peleides

To see the blue...

Not True Blue

Despite their stunning color, blue morphos are not true blue - that is, their wings are not colored blue. So what's the deal? Like all butterflies, morphos have tiny, overlapping scales covering their wings. In blue morphos, the scales on their wing tops have tiny ridges that reflect blue light. So even though the butterflies aren't colored blue, their wing tops look blue!

In contrast, the underside of their wings is brown, visible when the butterflies are at rest and their wings are folded up. The drab color helps them blend in with their surroundings and hide from enemies like birds and large insects. If the butterflies are discovered, they have a second line of defense: two bronze-colored wing spots that look like eyes - perfect for scaring off would-be predators.

Changing Tastes
An adult blue morpho - like all butterflies - drinks its food rather than eats it. It uses its proboscis (long, protruding mouth part) to drink sap and fruit juices.

But like all butterflies, adult morphos were plant-chomping caterpillars as youngsters. Blue morpho caterpillars are especially fond of leaves in the pea family.

So how do blue morpho caterpillars turn into blue morpho butterflies? Like all butterflies, they make an amazing transformation known as metamorphosis. First, eggs hatch into larvae, better known as caterpillars. Blue morpho caterpillars aren't blue at all: they're reddish-brown with bright patches of lime green on the back.

After a while the caterpillars wrap themselves in protective enclosures, called chrysalises. At this stage the insects are called pupae. After some time, pupation ends and the mature butterflies emerge from their chrysalises.

Home in the Forest
Morpho adults spend most of their time on the forest floor and in the understory (among the lower shrubs and trees). This is where they do their eating and sleeping. But when they're mating, these butterflies flit through all layers of the forest.

Fun Facts
Blue morphos, like all butterflies, taste with sensors on their legs and taste-smell the air with their antennae.
Their beauty is brief: the entire blue morpho life cycle lasts only 115 days.

This photo was taken in a butterfly farm.


fabianoleite, marius-secan, matatur has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-01-30 8:08]

Hello Manyee
Excellent macro capture of this beautiful butterfly
Thanks for sharing

Stunning picture of the Blue Morpho. A very well exposed image.

Hi Manyee
Very good macro capture of this wonderful butterfly.
Nice colors and details of it. Well done.
Best greetings.Alin.

Great colors and fine details. I like the somber shades of the picture, it matches the butterfly. Congratulations!

Hello Manyee,
Very good colours and great sharp details.
A very nice composition.

A handsome b.fly captured quite expertly against a dark BG Manyee, which made the image stand out as if in 3-D. A good effect indeed!

Hi Manyee,
that's such an impressive butterfly and I had the chance to see them in some Butterfly-houses here in Germany.
Yours is fantastic, congrats, a wonderful post.
Enjoy the weekend
Sabine - wishnugaruda

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