Morpho rhetenor (Blue Morpho)

Morpho rhetenor, also called Blue Morpho is a very beautiful butterfly from Neotropic ecozone (South America). The first description was in 1775 by Cramer. The wingspan is about 14.0 – 17.0 cm. Morpho rhetenor is a member of the family NYMPHALIDAE. Only the wings of the male are blue. They shines by phenomenal, blue structure colour. This butterfly has the most brilliant blue of all butterflies.



Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see some photos of Morpho rhetenor (Blue Morpho) (male). Morpho rhetenor is a member of the family NYMPHALIDAE from Neotropic (South America).


Description

The fore wings are brilliant by blue struture colour. The wing tip is black. At the outer edge there is a short chain of little white spots. The wing is a little bit transparent so some structures of underside are visible.
The underside is light-brown. Next to the body there is a dark-brown area. There is a short chain of little dark-brown spots.

The hind wings are brilliant and blue. The outer edge is wavy.
The underside is light-brown. Next to the body there is a dark-brown area. In the middle of the wing there is a chain of dark-brown eyes.

The body is dark-brown.

Sex differences: The female is bigger than the male. The upside is dark-brown.  The outer edge is yellow. Next to the body there is a yellow area. A chain of yellow spots is crossing the fore wings and hind wings.


Macro photographs

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor (upside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor (upside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor (upside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor helena (upside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor helena (upside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor helena (upside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor helena (underside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor helena (underside)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 06.09.2006, macro photograph of Morpho rhetenor helena (underside)

Here you can see some macro photographs of Morpho rhetenor (Blue Morpho) and Morpho rhetenor helena.


Distribution

The Blue Morpho (Morpho rhetenor) is a butterfly of the Neotropic ecozone (South America). The distribution extend from Peru to Colombia and from Guyana to Suriname.


This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Larval food

Leguminosae:

Palmae:


General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1775 by Cramer. There are only two subspecies.

The brilliant blue is a characteristic of nearly all members of genus Morpho. The blue structure colour based on the phenomenal microscopic structure of the scales. The interference erase all wavelength of light except for blue light. Therefore the wings are blue although there are no pigments.


Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see the subspecies Morpho rhetenor helena (male).


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Morpho cypris Westwood 1851


Scientific name

Morpho rhetenor Cramer 1775


Other names

 Blue Morpho
 Blauer Morpho


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: MORPHO)... 


Ecozone

NEOTROPIC (South America)

 

To the top

Back to family Nymphalidae from NEOTROPIC (SOUTH AMERICA)

 

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