Polyphemus White Morpho (Morpho polyphemus)
The Polyphemus White Morpho is a butterfly with a simple coloration. It is one of the very few morpho butterflies that are white, instead of blue coloration. They are mostly seen active and flying between May and November, especially in Mexico.
Description and Identification
The larva has a brushy body with fine sets reddish of hair-like growth at the two ends and in the middle of the body, alternating with yellow coloration.
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Morpho
- Common names: White Morpho
- Scientific Name: Morpho polyphemus
The chrysalis is green, with a smooth body, hanging from the tip of its body from under the leaves of their host plants.
Sexual Dimorphism: Not visibly present
Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, both the primary and the secondary wings display a bright white coloration, with some tiny markings in light brown and tan. When the wings are closed, they show a faint orange border, as well as a row of small eyespots on the secondary wings.
Average wingspan: Not reported
Flight pattern: Fast with rapid flaps
Dull whitish in color, laid singly on host plant leaves
|Distribution||Mexico and Central America till Costa Rica|
|Habitat||Premontane forests of the tropical regions with a distinct dry season|
|Host plants||Paullinia pinnata (family Sapindaceae) and Inga (family Fabaceae)|
|Adult diet||Flower nectar, rotting fruit|
Did You Know?
- The small eyespots on the wing, the species gets its specific name polyphemus from a Greek mythological character with the same name, who was the one-eyed son of the sea god Poseidon and his wife Thoosa.
- Some authorities consider Morpho luna as its subspecies, and accordingly, proposed to scientifically name it Morpho polyphemus.