Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
The entire life cycle of a blue morpho butterfly from egg to adult to death is just 115 - 137 days. (Once they break out of the cocoon as adults, they live only about a month.)
The Sickle - winged morpho butterfly is a large butterfly species with a wingspan of up to 8 inches.
Though beautiful, they can have an unpleasant odor. When threatened, adult Sickle - winged Morpho butterflies will release a pungent smell from a gland located between their front legs. The odor helps deter predators.
They are diurnal and most active when the sun is shining. Their eyes are highly sensitive to UV light and the males are particularly adept at spotting each other across great distances.
Sickle - winged Morphos have a somewhat limited home range, being found primarily from Colombia and Venezuela to Peru, Brazil and Bolivia.
They do not have a presence in Central America as other Morpho species do.
This is a species that is highly prized by collectors.
In Peru and elsewhere these large, magnificent butterflies are killed in large numbers for the souvenir / tourist trade.
High quality specimens are put into display boxes that are sold in major towns, cities and airports.
Damaged specimens are used in the jewellery trade to make everything from earrings to paperweights.
** There are currently 6 known subspecies of Sickle - winged Morphos.
Avg. Wingspan: 12.7 - 20.3 cm / 5 - 8 "
Diet: adults drink the juices of rotting fruit,
tree sap, decomposing animals and fungi.
* Because the Blue Morpho dines primarily on
rotting fruit, it does not pollinate any flowers.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera