M o r p h o   B u t t e r f l i e s

The morpho is a large butterfly with brilliant, shimmering blue wings. Pilots flying over the Amazon can observe their shining wings fluttering below in the canopy. The morphos’ brilliant color assists in attracting mates, but also makes them noticeable to predators, especially in sunlight. However, morphos are quick, agile fliers and are difficult to catch, and they seem to disappear when they enter shade. Blue morphos can mask their signature iridescence by just closing their wings. Morphos also use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings: below their blue brilliance, their undersides are the colors of leaves and bark.

Morphos spend much of their time in the forest canopy, often found around streams and sunlit areas. Adults feed on nectar and fermenting fruit and assist in flower pollination; caterpillars feed on leaves. Both adults and caterpillars are eaten by birds, spiders, and other insect-eaters.