Morpho epistrophus

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Morpho epistrophus
Morpho epistrophus catenaria
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Tribe: Morphini
Genus: Morpho
Species: M. epistrophus
Binomial name
Morpho epistrophus
(Fabricius, 1796)

Morpho eipistrophus, the white morpho or Epistrophus white morpho, is a Neotropical butterfly found in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina.


Subspecies in alphabetical order:

Plate from Seitz showing undersides of M. laertes and subspecies argentinus


In 1913 Hans Fruhstorfer wrote in Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde:

Group Morpho F. (= Leonte Hbn.). 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 which differ from all their allies in the chalky, milky or silvery white ground-colour, laertes may be easily known 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. 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. Larva in nests on various forest-trees.It was first figured by Burmeister. Arrangement of the bristles according to Dr. Wilhelm Müller as in Morpho hercules.[1]


Epistrophus is a character in the Iliad.


  1. ^ Fruhstorfer, H. 1913. Family: Morphidae. In A. Seitz (editor), Macrolepidoptera of the World, vol. 5: 333–356. Stuttgart: Alfred Kernen.
  • Le Moult (E.) & Réal (P.), 1962-1963. Les Morpho d'Amérique du Sud et Centrale, Editions du cabinet entomologique E. Le Moult, Paris.

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