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Blue Morpho Butterfly

Blue Morpho Butterfly
Photo Information
Copyright: Bill Houghton (poppygan59) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 237 W: 0 N: 344] (2516)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-10-13
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon D60, Canon EF70-200mm 4/L
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-07-20 8:42
Viewed: 5281
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
As its common name implies, the blue morpho butterfly’s wings are bright blue, edged with black. The blue morpho is among the largest butterflies in the world, with wings spanning from five to eight inches. Their vivid, iridescent blue coloring is a result of the microscopic scales on the backs of their wings, which reflect light. The underside of the morpho’s wings, on the other hand, is a dull brown color with many eyespots, providing camouflage against predators such as birds and insects when its wings are closed. When the blue morpho flies, the contrasting bright blue and dull brown colors flash, making it look like the morpho is appearing and disappearing. The males’ wings are broader than those of the females and appear to be brighter in color. Blue morphos, like other butterflies, also have two clubbed antennas, two fore wings and two hind wings, six legs and three body segments -- the head, thorax and abdomen.

Blue morphos live in the tropical forests of Latin America from Mexico to Colombia. Adults spend most of their time on the forest floor and in the lower shrubs and trees of the understory with their wings folded. However, when looking for mates, the blue morpho will fly through all layers of the forest. Humans most commonly see morphos in clearings and along streams where their bright blue wings are most visible. Pilots flying over rainforests have even encountered large groups of blue morphos above the treetops, warming themselves in the sun. The blue morpho’s entire lifespan lasts only 115 days, which means most of their time is spent eating and reproducing.

The blue morpho’s diet changes throughout each stage of its lifecycle. As a caterpillar, it chews leaves of many varieties, but prefers to dine on plants in the pea family. When it becomes a butterfly it can no longer chew, but drinks its food instead. Adults use a long, protruding mouthpart called a proboscis as a drinking straw to sip the juice of rotting fruit, the fluids of decomposing animals, tree sap, fungi and wet mud. Blue morphos taste fruit with sensors on their legs, and they "taste-smell" the air with their antennae, which serve as a combined tongue and nose.

Blue morphos are severely threatened by deforestation of tropical forests and habitat fragmentation. Humans provide a direct threat to this spectacular creature because their beauty attracts artists and collectors from all over the globe who wish to capture and display them. Aside from humans, birds like the jacamar and flycatcher are the adult butterfly’s natural predators.

siggi, marius-secan, bungbing, buscape, PaulLees, jurek1951, maaciejka, maurydv, kapildk has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-07-20 8:52]

Hello Bill.
A wonderful capture of this open winged blue morpho. You show off its elegance beautifully. Superb colors and excellent details. Nice position on the leaf.Best regards Siggi

Hello Bill,
Impressive colors and light of a splendid butterfly. Fantastic sharp details, lovely clarity and very good contrast.
Thanks for sharing!

Hello Bill
Beautiful photo of an impressive butterfly. The composition is excellent. Amazing colours and fantastic colorful BG. Very good sharpness too.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-07-20 11:33]

Hello Bill,
Very beautiful butterfly and contrasting colours in this photo. I saw them in the wild in Venezuela and Guatemala. What a beauties. Superb sharpness, details and a nice composition.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-07-20 11:37]

Hi Bill,
Very beautiful butterfly in nice colours.
Regards Jiri.

Hello Bill,
A beautiful shot of this beautiful butterfly, fantastic colours of its wings, great details and nice sharpness,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice night,
Best Regards,

Hello Bill,
great apture of this beautiful butterfly with good sharpness and fantastic colours. well chosen POV to show it with the wings wide open. Thanks for shariung this wonderful species.
Best wishes,

Hi Bill,

Great effort with this beautiful Butterfly my friend, fabulous vivid colours good sharpness with lovely wing markings, splendid work Bill and well done,
Best regards,


Hi Bill,
beutiful butterfly with splendid colors, great sharpness and wonderful details,

Ciao Bill, great macro of fantastic butterfly, fine details, excellent sharpness and splendid colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-07-20 22:15]

Hello Bill,
A very nice capture of this species of Morpho butterfly, Morpho peleides, the most widespread species and one that is usually reared in butterfly houses, where I assume you took this.
I have actually photographed this in the wild in Trinidad, but that was well before digital photography!
Nice POV with great sharpness, natural colours and light management. Thanks for showing a species that brings back memories!

Hi Bill,
amazing warm colours. Excellent point of view. Great sharpness and composition.
Thanks for sharing.

Hallo Bill,
a very beautiful macro shot, a fantastic contrast of colours, very good sharpness and fine detail of this marvellous butterfly, excellent point of view and composition
Best regards

Hi Mr. bill,

This is one of the beautiful butterfly i'd ever seen. The blue color on the wing is so attractive. I like the composition.
Well done & thanks for sharing.

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