Morpho rhetenor (Blue Morpho)
Morpho rhetenor, also called Blue Morpho is a very beautiful . 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
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.
Here you can see some macro photographs of Morpho rhetenor (Blue Morpho) and Morpho rhetenor helena.
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.
- Macrolobium bifolium
The first description of this butterfly was in 1775 by Cramer. There are only two subspecies.
- Morpho rhetenor cacica [Staudinger, 1876]
- Morpho rhetenor helena [Staudinger, 1890]
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.
Protection provisions / Red List
- CITES: (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
-no entry- (as at 23.06.2005)
- EU regulation on trading with species of wild Fauna and Flora
-no entry- (as at 19.08.2005)
- IUCN Red List of threatened species:
-no entry- (as at 2004) (see: www.redlist.org/)
Similar and closely-related species
Morpho rhetenor Cramer 1775
Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree
- Kingdom: ANIMALIA
- Phylum: ARTHROPODA
- Class: INSECTA
- Order: LEPIDOPTERA
- Suborder: DITRYSIA
- Superfamily: PAPILIONOIDEA
- Family: NYMPHALIDAE
- Subfamilie: MORPHINAE
- Tribe: MORPHINI
- Subtribe: MORPHINA
- Genus: MORPHO
- Specific name: RHETENOR