There’s nothing like a tropical vacation. Needing a little heat and humidity, I dashed off to west St. Louis County on Saturday–two grandchildren in tow–to take in the fluttering wonder of the Blue Morpho butterfly in the tropical environs of the Sophie M. Sachs Butterfly House.
The morpho is a brilliant blue butterfly who lives in the tropical rainforests of Latin America. And the Butterfly House is involved in conservation efforts of this butterfly with Costa Rica. Before entering the conservatory, the docent told us the butterflies were particularly active because it was a bright sunny day. She wasn’t kidding. Nearly 1,500 blue morphos are taking flight throughout March and they were everywhere. They are fast fliers so it was hard to capture them flying.
We learned a few things about these colorful creatures:
- They can have a wingspan of up to 8 inches. We were surrounded by butterflies, but I don’t think we saw an 8 incher.
- Adult morphos spend their time on the forest floor with their wings folded.
- Their iridescent blue color comes from microscopic scales on the back of their wings, which reflect light.
- They drink their dinner. Their diet consists of sap and fruit juices.
- Best yet, the morpho symbolizes joy…the feeling I had on Saturday.
March 5, 2018 at 9:43 pm
Oh my! My first thought when I saw that is that it could not be in Missouri!
March 5, 2018 at 10:30 pm
Absolutely! Your first thought would be right in the sense that the morpho is not native.
March 5, 2018 at 10:37 pm
Not only not native, but unlikely to be there in winter without the protection of a conservatory.