Menelaus blue morpho butterfly


Menelaus blue morpho butterfly

Morpho menelaus

Brazil

Z.1986.255.82

These beautiful blue butterflies can be seen from over 1 kilometre away when the sun reflects off their shiny wings in flight. They can also vanish into the forest instantly by closing their wings. The mottled brown underside of the wings allows them to blend into their surroundings.

Where can you see them? They are found from Mexico, through Central America, down to Brazil. The butterflies spend most of their time up in the rainforest canopy. You may spot them in sunny spots and clearings closer to the ground.

What do they eat? Morpho caterpillars feed on the leaves of plants in the pea family (Fabaceae). The adults sip liquid from rotting fruit, decomposing animals, tree sap, fungi and wet mud.

Are they endangered? Blue morphos are severely threatened by deforestation of tropical forests and habitat fragmentation. Local over-collection for the butterfly trade may also be having an impact.

Linked objects: Deidamia morpho butterfly