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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
   The entire life cycle of a Sickle - winged Morpho butterfly from egg to caterpillar 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.
Sickle -0 wing morpho  07042022.png
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 Morpho dines on rotting fruit, it does not pollinate flowers.

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera

   * Being of the Brush-footed butterfly family, Morphos have a short pair of fore legs that
are used to taste food, and two pairs of longer
rear legs that are used for propulsion.
   *The color of Morpho rhetenor, as with all blue butterflies, is produced by the microscopic structure of the scales refracting light to create the blue coloration. This is called structural coloration. (Blue pigmentation does not exist in butterflies.)
  ** There are currently 6 known subspecies of Sickle - winged Morphos.
Sickle Winged Morpho  (Morpho rhetenor)jpg
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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