Blue Morpho Butterfly Month

Thursday, September 1, 2016 to Friday, September 30, 2016

September, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center

Enjoy our month-long display of nature at its finest! Marvel at the Blue Morpho as hundreds of these tropical butterflies fill the Day Butterfly Center with their iridescent-blue splendor. If the trend continues, visitors to the Day Butterfly Center will witness the largest display of Blue Morpho Butterflies on the planet during September.

Join us Sept. 17 for a Blue Morpho Butterfly Reception.  For only $20, guests will have exclusive after-hours access to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.  Each guest will receive a complimentary glass of red wine or red grape juice, which the blue morphos are attracted to.  As guests stroll through the Butterfly Center enjoying their beverage, they will have up-close and personal experiences with these beautiful irridescent blue butterflies.  For details, CLICK HERE.

The Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) is a spectacular iridescent blue butterfly native to the rainforests of South and Central America. The undersides of the wings are brown with eyespots, but the contrasting upper sides could be considered the most brilliant, vivid blue that nature has to offer. This iridescent color actually results from microscopic scales on the back of their wings reflecting light, giving the brilliant shimmering blue appearance. As a Blue Morpho flies, its contrasting wing colors of brilliant blue and dull brown fool the eye and make the Morpho look as if it is appearing and disappearing, paying tribute to its name ‘morpho’ – which actually means “to change or modify.”

Blue Morphos are one of the most social butterfly species in the world, making them one of the most active at all times of the day.  They have long courtship rituals and are fiercely territorial – both behaviors that keep the beautiful butterflies constantly swooshing and swirling through the air.  And when they do rest, unlike most butterflies that hide in the trees, Morphos usually congregate in large groups around the fruit baskets in the Conservatory, making them very easy to spot and a lot of fun to watch.  Furthermore, where most butterflies’ emergence from their chrysalids is random and unpredictable, Blue Morphos synchronize their emergence making it easy to predict.  So if you arrive early, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., you are sure to have the opportunity to watch the last miraculous phase of metamorphosis as new adult butterflies climb from their chrysalids and prepare for their first flight.

As one of the largest butterflies, with a wingspan of five to eight inches, the Blue Morpho makes a beautiful subject for photos and video.  Yet normally throughout the year they maintain the reputation of being notoriously difficult to capture on film.  Blue Morpho Month gives you the best opportunity to photograph these butterflies because of the tremendous concentration within the Butterfly Conservatory.  Morphos do most of their flying between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. so for the best results, those looking to take photos should consider visiting when the butterflies are resting: before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.