The Blue Morpho
I felt very blessed to get this kind of photo opportunity of an open blue morpho. Usually you see the blue upper side of the butterfly as flashes of blue as they fly around. They almost always close when they are sitting. We got to the garden early in the morning, so maybe this one was just taking in the morning sunlight.
This is by far the more common view of the blue morpho - sitting with its wings folded. It has multiple eye patterns on its wing, but the eye is more prominent on the owl butterfly.
At left is a newly emerged blue morpho. It appears that you can see more of the blue from the outside, like the wing is more transparent than when it is fully dried. Below is a morpho egg, which was a couple of millimeters in size on the leaf. It appears to be designed to look like a raindrop for camoflage.
At left is a caterpillar for a morpho butterfly. Below are caterpillars for two other species closely related to each other.
Here are some more butterfly eggs attached to this leaf. I didn't understand which species these are for. But they collect the eggs into the laboratory and have a much higher percentage of survival than they would out on the leaf.
|I understood that these are caterpillars for the cecropia moth. Note that the caterpillars have cut the structural stems so that the leaf tents down to give them more protection. The undamaged leaf is fairly flat. |
Here are three more eggs attached to a leaf. They were 2 to 3 mm in size.
A delicate dragonfly among the butterflies.