Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Peleides Blue Morpho Butterfly

Still in butterfly mode... I wanted to paint this little being on a different surface. Laurent had some lovely pre-sanded (that is, sanded by him!) wood scraps lying around. He very kindly cut me a square, which I turned into this portrait of a butterfly.

I got curious about the butterfly, and did a little searching on Wikipedia. I think this is the one:

The Peleides Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) is an iridescent tropical butterfly found in Mexico, Central America, northern South America,Paraguay and Trinidad.

The Blue Morpho Butterfly drinks the juices from rotting fruits for food. Its favorites are mango, kiwi, and lychee. Blue Morpho butterflies live in the rainforests of South America, and can be found in Mexico and Central America. The wingspan of the Blue Morpho butterfly ranges from 7.5 cm to 20 cm. The entire Blue Morpho Butterfly life cycle, from egg to adult is only 115 days. The larvae of Blue Morpho Butterflies are cannibals. The caterpillar Blue Morpho Butterfly is red-brown with patches of bright green. The brilliant blue color in the butterfly's wings is caused by the diffraction of the light from millions of tiny scales on its wings. It uses this to frighten away predators, by flashing its wings rapidly. The Blue Morpho Butterflies stick together in groups to deter their predators, a form of Mobbing behavior.

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