The blue morpho butterfly is principally native to Mexico, Central America and South America including Venezuela, Brazil and Costa Rica. This species of butterfly inhabits the forest canopy layer and rarely roams in the understory layers or near the forest floor. This species of butterfly has characteristic brilliant blue wings, which are visible at a distance. The blue morpho butterfly exhibits numerous adaptations, which allow it to survive and continue to reproduce.
The blue morpho butterfly flies in a highly specific manner. The flight of this butterfly is designed to show the blue color of the wing as little as possible, so as not to draw attention to the insect. The upper surface of this butterfly’s wing consists of reflective scales. The blue morpho flashes its blue reflective wings to blind predators, such as young jaguars. The underside of the morpho’s wings has cryptic colors that blend into the vegetation. When resting, the blue morpho folds its wings in such a manner that only the underside shows. The blue morpho butterfly also folds its wings in this manner when it sleeps at night and is therefore less noticeable to nocturnal predators.
The blue morpho butterfly has a varied diet. This feeding preference is a survival strategy, as the butterfly will still be able to grow and thrive even if one of the food items has become scarce or has disappeared all together. This butterfly species, unlike most others, feeds on fermented fruits, fungi, tree sap, mud and the body fluids of dead forest creatures. The blue morpho butterfly develops a proboscis or long protruding mouth part after changing from the caterpillar stage into its adult form. This straw-like mouth adaptation allows the butterfly to feed on the numerous food items that it requires to survive.
The blue morpho butterfly enhances its survival as a species by laying large numbers of eggs. The principle behind this reproductive strategy is that even if many eggs are predated upon or if a number of lava or pupa die for whatever reason, enough will survive to continue the reproduction cycle.
The blue morpho butterfly has bronze colored eye spots on the brown underside of its wings. Eye spots frighten off predators, who believe that the butterfly is considerably larger than it is. The eye spots will also confuse predators as to the identity of the creature. The blue morpho butterfly will escape while the predator is confused enough to delay its attack.