AppearanceIn 1913, Hans Fruhstorfer wrote in ''Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde'':
Group ''Morpho'' F. . Species with metallic gloss on the upper surface; upper discocellular short, middle strongly convex proximally, lower concave distally, in the obtuse angle directed towards the anterior median. Cell of the forewing considerably widened towards the apex. Uncus and its lateral clasps relatively slender, valve distally spined.
''Morpho laertes'' is the best known of a small group of species that differ from all their allies by its chalky, milky, or silvery white ground-colour. ''M. laertes'' may be easily distinguished by the connected chain of narrow, oblong, ocellated median spots on the underside of the hindwing, which have mostly only indistinct white pupils and washed-out yellowish bordering. The bluish white colouring is brought out very well in the figure. The upper surface resembles the figured underside, except that the forewing continues narrowly margined with black to about the middle of the median area. Hindwing with some elongate black anteterminal and more distinct submarginal patches. ''M. laertes'' only inhabits the provinces of Rio de Janeiro and Espiritu Santo and is very common both at Rio and Petropolis from January to March. Larvae nest on various forest-trees. It was first described by Burmeister. Arrangement of the bristles according to Dr. Wilhelm Müller are like ''Morpho hercules''.
NamingSubspecies in alphabetical order:
⤷ ''Morpho epistrophus argentinus'' H. Fruhstorfer, 1907
⤷ ''Morpho epistrophus catenaria'' Perry, 1811
⤷ ''Morpho epistrophus epistrophus'' = ''Morpho laertes'' Drury 1782
⤷ ''Morpho epistrophus titei'' E. Le Moult & P. Réal, 1962Epistrophus is a character in the ''Iliad''.
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