Morpho menelaus

Morpho menelaus

The Blue Morpho is an iridescent tropical butterfly of Central and South America. It has a wing span of 15 cm . The adult drinks juice from rotten fruit with its long proboscis, which is like a sucking tube. The adult males have brighter colours than the females.

''Morpho menelaus'' is a very large butterfly, with a wingspan of approximately 138 mm.The forewing is concave at the outer edge. The upperside of wings are metallic blue.The underside is brown with a line of large ocelli at the base of the postdiscal area.
Blue Morpho highlight, Santa María, Colombia Morphos are common in Santa María, Colombia. They are big, fast and strong flyers. They are so bright blue that as they fly, it's like police lights flickering. In this somewhat dramatized photo I'm showing how bright their blue is. Boyacá,Colombia,Morpho menelaus,Santa María,South America,World

Naming

The subspecies are:

⤷ ''Morpho menelaus menelaus'' Venezuela, Brazil, Surinam, Guyana The male is blue, but with extremely intensive reflections. The female has only quite small white discal patches and the white spots on the discocellular are less developed than in the other races.
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus alexandrovna'' Druce, 1874 Peru Male greeish blue with light spot before the apex, below which are placed three faint blue-white patches. Under surface dark chocolate-brown with grey scales near the distal border. Ocelli three times as large as in ''menelaus''.
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus amathonte'' Panama, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus argentiferus'' Fruhstorfer, 1913 Peru
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus assarpai'' Röber, 1903 Peru
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus coeruleus'' Brazil
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus didius'' Hopffer, 1874 Peru
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus eberti'' Weber, 1963 Brazil.
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus godartii'' Guérin-Méneville, [1844] Bolivia, Peru
⤷ ''Morpho'' ''menelaus huebneri'' )
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus julanthiscus'' Fruhstorfer, 1907 Colombia, Ecuador
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus kesselringi'' Fischer, 1962 Brazil.
⤷ ''Morpho'' ''menelaus'' melacheilus''
⤷ ''Morpho'' ''menelaus occidentalis'' Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil.
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus orinocensis'' Le Moult, 1925 Venezuela
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus terrestris'' Butler, 1866 Brazil
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus verae'' Weber, 1951 Brazil
⤷ ''Morpho menelaus zischkai'' Fischer, 1962 BoliviaIt is similar in range and colouration to the Peleides Blue Morpho .''Morpho menelaus'' was named in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus to honour the Greek mythological figure Menelaus, a king of Ancient Sparta.
Blue Morpho, Santa María, Colombia This giant butterfly seems to be a common sight across Colombia. Perched like this it is the least spectacular, showing the brown underside of its wings. Most often you will see the spectacular bright blue when it is in flight, like a disco light floating around you. Boyacá,Colombia,Morpho menelaus,Reserva Almenara,Santa María,South America,World

Behavior

The nocturnal larvae are known to feed on ''Erythroxylum pulchrum'' and ''Machaerium''. The larvae are red-brown in colour with bright patches of lime-green or yellow. The larvae are also highly cannibalistic. The ''Morpho'' butterfly drinks its food rather than eat it. It uses its proboscis to drink sap and fruit juices.''Morpho'' butterflies taste with sensors on their legs and taste-smell the air with their antennae.''Morpho'' butterflies feed on the juices of fermenting fruit with which they may also be lured. The inebriated butterflies wobble in flight and are easy to catch. ''Morpho''s will also feed on the bodily fluids of dead animals and on fungi. Therefore, Morpho butterflies may be important in dispersing fungal spores.The adults dwell in the forest canopy layer and rarely come near the understorey and forest floor layers. However, they have sometimes been observed flying near the ground in clearings.
Large butterfly hanging upside down, Santa María, Colombia  Boyacá,Colombia,Morpho menelaus,Santa María,South America,World

Cultural

The blue morpho was featured in the 2004 Canadian-British film The Blue Butterfly, starring William Hurt, as well as an episode of Go, Diego, Go!.

The blue morpho is also a pivotal symbol in the 2010 videogame ''BioShock 2'', where it represents the revolutionary movement known as the "Rapture Family" and intended "rebirth" of the city. Character Gideon Wyborn explains the choice by noting that its caterpillar "doesn't spin a cocoon... it just grows armor on the inside... before the change. It is us." Paper blue morpho broaches are initially worn to secretly identify members of "the family" to each other, and it eventually becomes a form of religious image associated with the messianic Eleanor Lamb. It was also seen at the end of the game's teaser trailer.

The blue morpho is also important in the computer game The Amazon Trail. To win, you must take a picture of the blue morpho to please the Inca King.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilyNymphalidae
GenusMorpho
SpeciesM. menelaus
Photographed in
Colombia