Morpho peleides

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Peleides blue morpho
Blue Morpho Butterfly at University of Florida.jpg
Morpho peleides02.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Morpho
M. peleides
Binomial name
Morpho peleides
Kollar, 1850
  • Morpho confusa Le Moult & Réal, 1962
  • Morpho hyacinthus inderivata Le Moult & Réal
  • Morpho helenor peleides

Morpho peleides, the Peleides blue morpho, common morpho[1] or the emperor[2][3] is an iridescent tropical butterfly found in Mexico, Central America, northern South America, Paraguay and Trinidad. Most authorities[4] believe that peleides is a subspecies of Morpho helenor.[5]

The brilliant blue color in the butterfly's wings is caused by the diffraction of the light from millions of tiny scales on its wings. It uses this to frighten away predators, by flashing its wings rapidly. The wingspan of the blue morpho butterfly ranges from 7.5–20 cm (3.0–7.9 in). The entire blue morpho butterfly life cycle, from egg to adult is only 115 days. This butterfly undergoes metamorphosis from larva to butterfly. The larva eats plant leaves before spinning a chrysalis. Flower nectar, which is available later in the year, is used by the butterfly. A recent study also discovered that during transformation, the butterfly substantially reduces its body weight and body fat.[6] Known larval food plants are Leguminosae (Arachis hypogaea, Dioclea wilsonii, Inga species, Lonchocarpus, Machaerium cobanense, Machaerium salvadorense, Machaerium seemannii, Medicago sativa, Mucuna mutisiana, Pithecellobium, Pterocarpus rohrii, Mucuna urens) and Bignoniaceae (Paragonia pyramidata). Morpho peleides drinks the juices from rotting fruits for food. Its favorites in captivity are mango, kiwi, and lychee. Morpho peleides butterflies live in the rainforests of South America, and can be found in Mexico and Central America.

The larvae of Morpho peleides butterflies are occasional cannibals. These caterpillars are red brown with patches of bright green.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Common Morpho
  2. ^ Stiling, P.D. (1986). Butterflies and Other Insects of the Caribbean. New York: Macmillan Caribbean. p. 52.
  3. ^ Beccaloni, G.; Scoble, M.; Kitching, I.; Simonsen, T.; Robinson, G.; Pitkin, B.; Hine, A.; Lyal, C., eds. (2003). "Morpho peleides". The Global Lepidoptera Names Index. Natural History Museum. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Lamas, Gerardo (2004). Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera; Checklist: Part 4A; Hesperioidea - Papilionoidea.
  5. ^ "Morpho Fabricius, 1807" at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  6. ^ Connor, W. E. (2006). Effects of diet and metamorphosis upon the sterol composition of the butterfly Morpho peleides. Journal of Lipid Research., 47(7), 1444–1448.

External links[edit]