Adult blue morphos (just like other butterflies) drink the fluids they ingest and use their proboscis (elongated, protruding mouth) into decomposing fruit, fermented tree sap, fungi, and even dead corpses.
Adult morphos also avidly consumed plants when they were caterpillars. Certain plants are needed for different life cycle stages, like milkweed for monarch caterpillars. Most morpho butterflies select one kind of leafy plant for their caterpillars to feed upon; the adults then visit those same leaves for their nectar.
The proboscis is a tube-like appendage that forms from two mouthparts that are usually fused together. It acts as a straw to allow the butterfly to drink liquids and to eat soft foods. The butterfly secretes saliva onto the proboscis when it eats, and the juices or nectar of the food dissolve in this saliva. The butterfly then uses its proboscis to slurp up these dissolved juices/nectar.
What plants do blue morpho butterflies eat?
Adult blue morphos eat liquids through a specialized, extended mouthpiece known as a proboscis. These particular butterflies don’t drink nectar much like most but instead eat things like decomposing fruit, fermented tree sap, fungi, and even dead animals.
Blue morpho butterflies are some of the largest butterflies in the world, although they are not the largest. They can have a wingspan up to eight inches in length.
They are native to Central and South America and live in rain forests, where they camouflage themselves on tree trunks and branches until they need to fly away. They have blue wings with black edges, so when their wings are folded together, it makes them look like dead leaves.
The blue morpho is a type of butterfly known as a brush-footed butterfly because its first pair of legs is smaller than the other three pairs. The caterpillars in this family often snack on plants that make up the pea family, including alfalfa, clover, and peas.
When these caterpillars hatch, they eat their eggshells, so they do not leave behind any evidence of where they hatched. This protects them from predators while they start out as very small butterflies.
Is a blue morpho butterfly a herbivore?
Morpho Butterflies are herbivores. They consume sap, fungi, and fermented fruit juices. They have the ability to detect these sources from great distances using their sense of taste, which is located on their feet. The sap that they consume is rich in amino acids and proteins, which is important for the growth of their caterpillars.
What fruits do blue morpho butterflies eat?
Blue Morpho butterflies eat bananas, apples, and pears that are busy and decaying. These butterflies also love the rotten fruit of mangoes, guavas, and oranges. They drink nectar from flowers growing in forests.
Blue Morphos drink minerals and moisture from wet soil or rotting wood. Some of their favorite flowers are those with a lot of sweet nectar. Common names for these plants include milkweed, thistles, and lantana.
All in all, the blue morpho butterfly is one of the most fascinating butterflies in the world and a favored species by many. The diet they need to survive is not only intriguing but various, allowing them to have plenty of options.