Monday, March 7, 2011

Blue Morpho Butterflies

One of my favorite places to photograph is the Missouri Botanical Gardens Butterfly House located in Chesterfield, Missouri. In the winter months when it is nasty, cold, and drab outside, it is hot and humid in the tropical interior of the butterfly house. In March every year they have "March Morpho Mania" For the month they add thousands of additional Morpho Butterflies to their normal inventory.

Achilles Morpho 

Interesting Facts about the Blue Morpho Butterfly:
The Blue Morpho butterfly is a tropical butterfly found in Central and South America.

This Blue Morpho butterfly can also be considered to be one of the biggest butterflies seen, their wingspan measures 5 – 8 inches in width.

Its characteristic blue wings are extremely beautiful to look at. The brilliant blue wings are not really brightly colored for the female Blue Morpho butterflies.

Female Blue Morpho butterflies have a dull blue with brown edgings for their wings. They also have white spots in the blue area.

At birth, the caterpillars are reddish brown in color. They also have green colored patches on the back area.

The undersides of the wings of the Blue Morpho butterflies have a dull brown shade. This brown color is dotted with many eyespots.

When this butterfly is spotted flying, it is one of the most beautiful sights one can ever imagine. The flapping wings create a fine blend of the bright blue and the dull brown colors and the flashing colors create a beautiful effect. 

Common Morpho Butterfly

It is frustrating to get good open wing spread photos of the different species of the Morpho Butterflies. Their underside wings are a dull Brown color with eye spots, and this allows then to blend into the vegetation very well and hid from predators. When the Morpho lands they generally immediately close their wings up to blend in. I have very few good photos of Morphos for all the hours I have spent in the butterfly house. You have to be very quick to catch one that is opened up.  

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