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Not to be confused with Morphine.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
(unranked): Rhopalocera
Superfamily: Papilionoidea
Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Morphinae (disputed)

(but see text)

Morphinae is a subfamily of Nymphalidae butterflies that includes the morphos, the owl butterflies (Caligo) and related lineages. It is either considered a sister group of the Satyrinae, or disassembled and included therein.


A Morphinae on dragon fruit

This group sometimes includes the monotypic (sub)tribe Biina, otherwise placed in the Brassolini.[1] This group is the subject of intense study and the following classification is subject to modification.

Listed alphabetically by tribe.[2]

Tribe Amathusiini (sometimes considered a distinct subfamily Amathusiinae):

  • 15 genera (see subfamily article)

Tribe Brassolini (previously considered a distinct subfamily Brassolinae):

  • 18-19 genera, see subfamily article

Tribe Morphini:


  1. ^ Freitas et al. (2002)
  2. ^ Morphinae,


  • Freitas, A. V. L., Debra L. Murray, D. L., and Brown, K. S., Jr. 2002. Immatures, natural history and the systematic position of Bia actorion (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 56(3): 117-122, 2 figs. (11 October) (Bia placed in Satyrinae)
  • Lamas, G. (Ed.). (2004). Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera. Checklist: Part 4A. Hesperioidea-Papilionoidea. Gainesville: Association for Tropical Lepidoptera. ISBN 0-945417-28-4.

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